Various Artists

The Bluesville Years, Vol. 8: Roll Over, Ms. Beethoven

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As classic female blues singer compilations usually consist of dubs of scratchy 78s, this collection of the best selections from three 1961 Bluesville albums (and one of them a compilation at that) is a welcome one, indeed. Subtitled 'Roll Over, Ms. Beethoven, ' the accent is on sassy, assertive vocals and lyrics with strong 1920s style jazz band support on most tracks. Lucille Hegamin's four tracks feature the two fisted piano work of Willie "The Lion" Smith while the four tracks by Alberta Hunter has hot support from jazz legends J.C. Higginbotham, Buster Bailey, and Zutty Singleton. The bulk of this compilation turns the spotlight on Victoria Spivey, showcasing four tracks with the same combo that blew so beautifully behind Hunter then ups the ante with another five with Lonnie Johnson, four of them performed as duets with Spivey on piano. This is an excellent entry into an already fine series.

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