Daisy Martin

Complete Recorded Works (1921-1926)

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The art of jazz singing developed gradually throughout the 1920s, and the discography of that period is peppered with the works of now-obscure vocalists who occupy modest niches in the margins of musical history. Since the '90s, when the Document label reissued hundreds of these hitherto difficult to find recordings, interested parties have been able to tap into the evidence in order to construct a broader, deeper understanding of how the tradition unfolded. Between March 1921 and August 1923, Daisy Martin cut 16 sides for Gennett, Okeh, Banner, and Paramount. Her six initial titles, beginning with what must have been one of the first recordings ever made of the "Royal Garden Blues," had backing by a group billed as her Five Jazz Bell-Hops. This handle was born of a regrettable tendency of early record producers to name jazz bands after service occupations that were often imposed upon persons of color. Martin's next eight titles were recorded with accompaniment by the Tampa Blue Jazz Band, one of several different units headed by sax and clarinet man Joseph Samuels. On "Feelin' Blues" and "What You Was You Used to Be (But You Ain't No More)," Martin's accompanying band was christened her Royal Tigers; the only member even tenuously identified being cornetist Phil Napoleon. Other instrumentalists who worked with this singer during this period are believed to have included trumpeter Gus Aiken, cornetist Jules Levy Jr., trombonists Jake Frazier, Ephraim Hannaford, and Kid Ory; reedman Garvin Bushell, and pianists Dude Finlay and Larry Briers. In January and February 1926 Ozie McPherson made her first recordings with Lovie Austin's Serenaders (cornetist Bob Shoffner, clarinetist Jimmy O'Bryant, and drummer W.E. "Buddy" Burton) and Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, a group consisting of cornetist Joe "Fox" Smith, trombonists Albert Wynn and Big Charlie Green, clarinetist Buster Bailey, bass saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, and banjoist Charlie Dixon. This compilation does not contain the complete recordings of Ozie McPherson. During the years 1928-1929, she would operate under the name of Ozie Ware, making Victor recordings with Duke Ellington and Porter Grainger, and records for Columbia with blues vaudevillians Coot Grant and Wesley Wilson.

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