Eva Taylor

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1923-1927)

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Of the three "complete" Eva Taylor CDs put out by Document, this is the main one to get. Although the singer's activity as a leader on records went from very busy (23 titles during her first year) to more occasional (the 25 songs on this CD cover a four-year period), many of her finest recordings as a leader are on this volume. Among the highlights are "Jazzin' Babies Blues," which has Sidney Bechet on soprano; two interesting titles ("Old Fashioned Love" and "Open Your Heart") sung as vocal duets with Lawrence Lomax; "Ghost of the Blues"; a couple selections where Taylor and husband-singer Clarence Williams are accompanied only by cornetist Tom Morris and banjoist Buddy Christian; a jubilant version of "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob Bobbin' Along,"; two numbers with the brilliant young cornetist Jabbo Smith featured in the backup group; and a couple of somber tributes to the late singer Florence Mills. Eva Taylor's most famous vocals were generally made under Clarence Williams' leadership, but it is very good to hear the mostly obscure items cut under her own name like this, complete and in chronological order.

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