Female Blues Singers – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works – Vol 9 H (1923-1930)
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This ninth volume of a superb fourteen volume series of female blues singers presents the work of two vaudeville blues artists who were already established artists in the early 1900s, plus a track by an intriguing, obscure, singer and the work of one of the numerous second-line singers of the mid 1920s.
Edmonia Henderson’s saucy voice is a little reminiscent of Ida Cox. She was extremely successful on the vaudeville circuit. Among the many highlights in her career she won the Paramount Blues Singer Contest and on another occasion she joined Ma and Pa Rainey, playing the “straight” part to Ma’s comedy act. Lethia Hill delivers the goods in a big, distinctive voice with fine encouragement by Bubber Miley’s biting cornet work. Mattie Hite was another success and a specialist in risqué blues songs. She was well remembered by Frankie Jaxon and Alberta Hunter. Her titles include her first issued recordings from 1923 which have her emerging with a distinct vocal force backed superbly by Fletcher Henderson and a young Coleman Hawkins. The 1930 session for Columbia provides two superb numbers with strong piano by prolific jazzman Cliff Jackson. The collection is packed with some of the best accompanist of the decade including Paramount’s house pianist Lovie Austin and fellow musicians Tommy Ladnier, Johnny Dodds and Rex Stewart.