Edna Hicks

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1923-27)

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The last recordings of three classic blues singers from the 1920s whose total output exceeded one CD are included on this interesting disc. Except for two lost numbers from 1924, Edna Hicks only recorded in 1923. Her six selections feature backing from either Porter Grainger's Sawin' Three or a Fletcher Henderson Trio with cornetist Joe Smith and clarinetist Don Redman. Hicks sounds strong for the period, but sadly her life would be cut short in 1925 by an accident. Hazel Meyers is represented by 11 selections. She is joined by a variety of groups including the Choo Choo Jazzers, selections with pianist Louis Hooper (and either cornetists Bubber Miley or Louis Metcalf, or clarinetist Bob Fuller) and two wonderful duets in 1924 with pianist Fats Waller ("Maybe Someday" and "When Your Troubles Are Just Like Mine"). The disc concludes with Laura Smith's final session, a four-song duet set with pianist Clarence M. Jones that includes two songs having to do with the Mississippi floods of the period. Overall, this gap-filling release is a must for completists and classic blues collectors, but beginners to the idiom are definitely advised to check out Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters first.

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