Annette Hanshaw

The Early Years, Vol. 1

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Annette Hanshaw was one of the finest singers of the late '20s/early '30s before she retired prematurely at the age of 24. This perfectly put-together LP (the first of three from the British Fountain label) has Hanshaw's first 15 recordings, including four songs cut when she was a month shy of turning 16. Accompanied on various tracks by cornetist Red Nichols, trombonist Miff Mole, clarinetist Jimmy Lytell and pianist Irving Brodsky, Hanshaw also backs herself on two songs on piano. Although quite young, she sounds surprisingly mature on such numbers as "Black Bottom," "My Baby Knows How" and "One Sweet Letter from You," proving to be one of the few singers from this era who could swing.