Sara Martin

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2: 1923-1924

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Based on the music that Sara Martin recorded at the beginning of her career (and released on Vol. 1 of this four-CD series), she was primarily a superior vaudevillian performer. However, Vol. 2 shows that Martin was actually an even better blues singer. In general, the material that she recorded had improved by mid 1923, as had her singing, and there are many gems among the 23 songs included on this disc. Martin is accompanied on the first seven selections by pianist Clarence Williams, is joined on four numbers by small groups led by Williams (and including cornetist Tom Morris and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet), is backed by pianist Porter Grainger on six songs and then, most intriguingly, performs duets with Sylvester Weaver (heard on two numbers apiece on guitar and banjo). Other than the band numbers, the focus throughout is mostly exclusively on the singer who is heard in prime form on such tunes as "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues," "Mistreated Mama Blues," "Slow Down Sweet Papa, Mama's Catching Up with You" and "Everybody's Got the Blues." Formerly rare music that is both historical and quite strong for the period.

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