Release Date: 01/20/07
Here, we have performers who were, it could be said, heirs to the vaudeville blues of the 1920s: this music is urbane, sophisticated, melding jazz and blues with a strong pop sensibility. Monette Moore's recording career stretched back to 1923 and forward to appearances in films, on television, and at Disneyland - where, I imagine, she did not sing 'Two Old Maids In A Folding Bed.' Certainly, she lives up to her billing as 'The Girl of Smiles' on this and 'Rhythm For Sale,' where she cautions 'Don't let the blues make you wail.' Tiny Mayberry's recordings reveal a rich-voiced singer with a pronounced vibrato who holds her own in the fast company of Charlie Shavers, who demonstrates a particularly fine muted, syncopated feel on the poppish '/ Got A Feeling For You'. 'Oh That Nasty Man' builds tension through repetition and the withholding of information, revealing the story ever so slowly, spanning the period of nine months in under three minutes. Note that the session begins with the tender 'I Got A Feeling For You' but ends with 'Evil Hearted Woman.' where Mayberry sings 'I feel like killing my man.' Lil Armstrong and Henry 'Red' Allen were in the studio to accompany Helen Proctor. 'Blues At Midnight' is the best of the lot, with beautiful lower-register playing from Allen bursting from the grooves. W. C. Handy's performance of 'St. Louis Blues' is light, jaunty band blues with some heat generated by J. C. Higginbotham, Edmond Hall, and Luis Russell. 'Beale Street Blues' provides soloists rising above the occasion. 'Way Down South' provides some solid tenor sax from Bingie Madison. Lee Brown recorded accompaniments in 1937 to Sleepy John Estes and Charlie Pickett. However, by as early as his third recording date Brown was mixing jazz with his blues, and the first four sides here include Jonah Jones and Fess Williams. Both 'My Little Girl' and 'Lucille Blues' deal with his love / hate relationship with 'that woman'. 'Mississippi Water Blues' is a variant on the 'drink muddy water' theme, while 'Little Leg Woman' employs the tune of 'Shake Em On Down.' The last four titles date from 1946, when Brown was playing clubs and house rent parties in Chicago, sometimes in the company of Muddy Waters and as on theses sides, Baby Face Leroy Foster, two of which reprise in title or spirit his first commercial success.
|Label: Document Records|
|Run Time: 70 mins|
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