Various Artists

The Blues 1923-1933

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This CD from the Robert Parker series (in which the renowned engineer "enhances" early recordings by adding a slight echo and the feel of stereo) contains 16 performances that cover a wide range of styles. Most of the music is from the jazz side of the blues world and rarities are programmed next to more familiar selections. Despite the hodgepodge nature of the program, this one is worth picking up. Such singers as Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Victoria Spivey, Ethel Waters and even Jimmie Rodgers (along with nine others) are heard on one song apiece and most collectors will be missing at least a few of these recordings.

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