Various Artists

Jazzin' the Blues (1943-1952)

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This interesting CD is a gap filler, featuring later recordings by Ada Brown, Ruby Smith, Bertha "Chippie" Hill, and Lizzie Miles plus the only title by an unknown singer, Mama Alberta Price. Actually most of these performances are available elsewhere. Ada Brown is heard on "That Ain't Right" from the 1943 soundtrack of the film Stormy Weather; she is joined by an all-star group led by Fats Waller (who "assists" her with his vocal interjections). The four numbers by Ruby Smith from 1947 are particularly interesting because she is joined by tenor saxophonist Gene Sedric's sextet. Even though three of the six musicians were formerly with Fats Waller, the playing is surprisingly boppish. The Price number and the eight selections from Chippie Hill are all taken from This Is Jazz broadcasts hosted by Rudi Blesh in 1947. They are all available along with the complete programs in an extensive series put out by the Jazzology label. Finally, the six Dixielandish tunes from Lizzie Miles in 1952 has her singing with Sharkey Bonano's Kings of Dixieland and were originally part of a few Capitol albums released under Bonano's name. The music overall is enjoyable although more serious collectors may want to acquire these sessions elsewhere; however the Ruby Smith sides are scarce.

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