Various Artists

Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, Vol. 3

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There were three Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festivals held during 1972-74 (succeeding the Ann Arbor Blues Festivals of 1969-70) and several CDs have brought back highpoints from the 1973 event. Although pianist Roosevelt Sykes and singer Victoria Spivey (who share this CD) probably seemed ancient to the young and enthusiastic college audience (they were 67 at the time), they were still in their musical prime in the early '70s. Pianist-vocalist Sykes runs through his usual repertoire during a spirited solo set with the highlights including "Night Time Is the Right Time," "St. James Infirmary" and his double-entendre "Dirty Mother for You" (which really excites the crowd). Spivey, a classic blues singer from the 1920s, is heard with an electric blues band which features prominent guitar and harmonica in the ensembles. She basically performs in an unchanged style from her earlier days, revisiting "Black Snake Blues" (which was from her debut recording session in 1926), "Detroit Moan" and Clarence Williams' "Organ Grinder Blues." Although neither of the short sets contain any real surprises, the spirit and joy of the veteran blues performers (plus the historic nature of their performances) makes this CD well worth picking up.