Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sings the Blues
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
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Outstanding tribute to the Empress of Blues,Bessie Smith
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Actress and singer Juanita Hall (1901-1968) will not be familiar to many jazz lovers. She mostly sang and played in musical revues;she made a hit in 1949,playing and singing the role of "Bloody Mary" in Rodgers and Hammerstein 's "South Pacific".
This 1958 session is,to my knowledge, her only jazz session.But what a hell of a session !!!
Here is a fantastic tribute to the immense Bessie Smith.Few albums have been dedicated to this Lady: singers Dinah Washington and LaVern Baker did two amazing albums devoted to Bessie's tunes; more recently,pianist Amina Claudine Myers made a superlative album for Bessie.This is not surprising;Dinah was the Queen of Blues,LaVern had the perfect voice for this kind of music,and Amina,a former member of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra,plays piano with evident blues and gospel roots.
But Juanita Hall never really was involved in jazz music.Sometimes flirting with,of course.But she allways had in mind the idea of recording an album composed of Bessie's tunes.
The helluva day took place in 1958.Juanita is backed by a sextet only made of stars: first,the Bean,Coleman Hawkins (1904 ?-1969),who delivers some terrific tenor sax solos and backgrounds;then,one of the most talented trumpet players of all times,the immense Adolphus "Doc" Cheatham (1905-1997);the great Buster Bailey on clarinet (1902-1967),who played with everybody;the underrated Claude Hopkins on piano,who was the leader of a great big band in the thirties; the implacable George Duvivier on bass,and the somptuous Jimmy Crawford on drums (1910-1981),who was for many years Jimmy Lunceford's percussionnist.
A band of my dreams. The essence of swing.Listen to Crawford's use of brushes.Do you understand why he was one of Sam Woodyard's major influences with Jo Jones ?
Now,about Miss Hall.What is there to say ? She's an amazing blues singer in Bessie Smith's style;she gives exceptionnal versions of "you've been a good old wagon","I want every bit of it"(aka "I don't want it second hand"),"Gulf Coast blues","Downhearted blues".This is an album that has to take place in every jazz lover's discotheque.I really feel great listening to this kind of music.Missing it would be a terrible mistake."
austinite1 | 06/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bloody Mary singing the blues. She really captured the essence of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and all the other lady blues singers that came before her. Her style in this CD is different from hers in South Pacific and Flower Drum Song, but in a good way. She had so much soul and blues and jazz in her voice. Get this CD you won't regret it!"