Ida Cox

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 5 (1939-1940)

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Other than an album from 1961, this CD has blues singer Ida Cox's final recordings. The first seven selections (which include a previously unreleased "One Hour Mama") has four additional alternate takes. Cox is heard in 1939 backed by an accurately-titled "all-star band" that consists of trumpeter Hot Lips Page, trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, clarinetist Edmond Hall, either James P. Johnson or Fletcher Henderson on piano, guitarist Charlie Christian, bassist Artie Bernstein and Lionel Hampton on drums. Although her prime was considered the 1920s, Ida Cox on "Death Letter Blues" and "Four Day Creep" still sounds pretty strong. The remainder of this CD is taken from a 1940 session with trumpeter Red Allen, Higginbotham, Hall, pianist Cliff Jackson, bassist Billy Taylor, and drummer Jimmy Hoskins that resulted in four titles and four alternate takes; only two performances were released previously, but Cox's singing is excellent. It is a pity that because musical styles had changed, Ida Cox was largely forgotten during this period.

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