Ida Cox

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1924-1925)

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Unlike most of her contemporaries, who spent at least part of their time singing vaudeville-type material and pop songs, Ida Cox stuck throughout her career to the blues. On the second of four Document CDs that reissue all of her 1920s material (although some of the many alternate takes are bypassed), Cox is mostly accompanied by either Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders (which usually includes cornetist Tommy Ladnier and clarinetist Jimmy O'Bryant, although the great Johnny Dodds is on six selections) or, on one date, members of Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. The recording quality of these Paramount 78s (which cover a 13-month period) is erratic, but there are a few classics here, including "Chicago Monkey Man Blues" (which has some lyrics that would later be used for "Going to Chicago"), "Blues Ain't Nothin' Else But," "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues" and "Death Letter Blues." Throughout, Ida Cox (who was second to Bessie Smith at the time) is quite consistent, making the most of her limitations. Recommended.

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