For completists, specialists and academics, Document's Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1929-1934) is invaluable, offering an exhaustive overview of Charley Patton's early recordings. For less dedicated listeners, the disc is a mixed blessing. There are some absolutely wonderful, classic performances on the collection, but the long running time, exacting chronological sequencing, poor fidelity (all cuts are transferred from original acetates and 78s), and number of performances are hard to digest. The serious blues listener will find all these factors to be positive, but enthusiasts and casual listeners will find that the collection is of marginal interest for those very reasons.
AllMusic Review by Thom Owens