This, the first of three volumes features the work of four female blues singers. Three are obscure names whilst Alberta Jones whose recordings dominate this collection stands out as the star. As with the vast majority of the CDs featuring female classic blues singers in the Document Catalogue, this collection is given double strength by the inclusion of some excellent accompanists including Fletcher Henderson and his Orchestra backing Inez Richardson. Duke Ellington and Otto Hardwicke lend a hand with two of Alberta Jones numbers and Alma Henderson is in the company of DeLoise Searcy on piano and Lonnie Johnson on guitar on her first two recordings followed by Eddie Lang on her two remaining titles.
The early foundations of blues recording were built on what became known as the Classic Blues. The performers were usually professional female singers who toured the vaudeville theatre circuit. Their repertoire took in the popular songs of the early 1900s and continued through the 1920s. This included popular love songs, songs from musical shows and, the blues. Their accompaniments would be provided by a pianist or on rare occasions a guitarist but more often than not it would be a hot jazz band. Following the first successful recording of a blues record, taking place in 1920 by Mamie Smith, many such artists were lucky enough to record either by chance or by popular demand. Some were or became stars, others only shone for a moment before disappearing back into the darkness of obscurity. Includes informative booklet notes by Steve Tracy and detailed discography.
Informative booklet notes by Steve Tracy.