A well-documented blues and vaudevillian singer in the 1920s, Lizzie Miles was off records after 1930 for over 20 years, except for eight selections cut on one day in 1939. This CD has her later "comeback" session, four songs cut for Rudi Blesh's Circle label in 1952. In addition, Miles is heard on an alternate take of "Basin Street Blues" from that day, nine previously unreleased performances from a month earlier, two unheard selections from the mid-1950s, and a pair of tunes (previously put out by the Dawn Club label) that find her performing live with the George Lewis band. In most cases, Miles is backed by a trio comprised of either Fred Neumann or Lester Santiago on piano, Frank Federico or Ernest McLean on guitar, and Joe Locacano or Richard McLean on bass. Her delivery of the standards (which include "Careless Love," "Ace in the Hole," "Some of These Days," "Someday Sweetheart" and "St. Louis Blues") is relaxed, swinging and full of joy; Miles comes across much more like a vintage jazz singer than a classic blues vocalist. The recording quality is generally quite good on these rarities. The mid-1950s numbers have her joined by a New Orleans sextet that includes cornetist Johnny Wiggs and clarinetist Raymond Burke, while the George Lewis group is supportive on the final two numbers. A perfect introduction to the infectious singing of Lizzie Miles.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow