Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alberta Hunter and others: Better Boot That Thing - Great Women Blues Singers of the 1920's

Alberta Hunter - Bessie Tucker - Victoria Spivey - Ida Mae Mack

There's remarkable variety among these four singers from the classic era of blues, when women dominated and urban and rural styles were a world apart. The most varied and versatile is urbanite Alberta Hunter, with her lilting voice, sweet vibrato and early-jazz rhythm. A vaudeville veteran, Hunter offers a delightfully actresslike delivery and a cheerful, warming personality; she writes interesting songs, too, and she negotiates difficult lines with ease. Ida May Mack proves quite Bessie Smith-inspired, though with a smaller voice and nothing even faintly like Smith`s rhythmic sophistication. Bessie Tucker is penetrating and primitive, with a stark alto voice and stark pentatonic lines casting a spell of dark desperation; note especially the long, low moan with which she opens ``Penitentiary.`` Urban blueswoman Victoria Spivey, despite lingering vaudeville in her setting and delivery, is in some ways the most rewarding, hard-core blueswoman here. Powerful vignettes like "Blood Hound Blues" and "Dirty Tee Bee Blues"` are near-masterpieces of blues documentary-few other blues composers have revealed such an original, tough-minded yet compassionate point of view. -John Litweiler (Chicago Tribune)

Alberta Hunter
01. I'll Forgive You 'Cause I Love You 2:53
02. I'm Gonna Lose Myself Way Down In Louisville 3:07
03. My Daddy's Got A Brand New Way To Love 2:53
04. Sugar 3:18 (Organ - Fats Waller)
05. Beale Street Blues 3:15 (Organ - Fats Waller)
Bessie Tucker
06. Fort Worth And Denver Blues 3:21
07. Penitentiary 3:31
08. Better Boot That Thing 2:38
09. Bogey Man Blues 2:47
10. Whistling Woman Blues 3:11
Victoria Spivey
11. Blood Hound Blues 2:36
12. Dirty Tee Bee Blues 3:06
13. Moaning The Blues 3:00
14. Telephoning The Blues 3:08
15. Showered With Blues 2:54
Ida May Mack
16. Wrong Doin' Daddy 3:16
17. Elm Street Blues 3:17
18. When You Lose Your Daddy 3:09
19. Mr. Forty Nine Blues 3:04
20. Good-Bye Rider 3:12

Alberta Hunter (tracks: 1 to 5)
Bessie Tucker (tracks: 6 to 10)
Victoria Spivey (tracks: 11 to 15)
Ida Mae Mack (tracks: 16 to 20)

Saxophone [Soprano] - Charlie Holmes (tracks: 11 to 14)
Saxophone [Tenor] - Teddy Hill (tracks: 11 to 14)
Trombone - J.C. Higginbotham (tracks: 11 to 14)
Trumpet - Henry Allen* (tracks: 11 to 14)
Bass - G. Foster (tracks: 11 to 14)
Organ - Fats Waller (tracks: 4 to 5)
Guitar - Jesse Thomas* (tracks: 8 to 10) , W.K. Johnson (tracks: 11 to 15)
Piano - K.D. Johnson (tracks: 6 to 10, 11 to 15) , Lewis Russell* (tracks: 11 to 15)
Mike Jackson (4) (tracks: 1 to 3)

Recorded from 1927 to 1930.
Transferred to digital tape from metal parts at BMG Recordings Studios, May 1992. Digitally remastered at BMG Recordings Studios, New York City, June 1992.

hot jazz and cool blues

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