<transcy>LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith</transcy>
<transcy>LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith</transcy>
<transcy>LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith</transcy>
<transcy>LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith</transcy>

LaVern Baker Sings Bessie Smith

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LaVern Baker - vocal

Paul Quinichette - tenor saxophone

Jerome Richardson (bs); Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green (tb); Buck Clayton (tp); Nat Pierce (p); Danny Barker (g); Wendell Marshall (b); Joe Marshall (dr)

Writen by Bessie Smith (A2, A6, B5, B6), Wesley Wilson (A1), Andy Razaf (A2), David K. Leader (A4), G. M. Coleman (A4), Harry Eller (A4), Perry Bradford (A5), J.C. Johnson (B1), Jimmy Cox (B3), Turner Layton (B4), Henry Creamer (B4). B2 is a traditional song.


1 LP, standard sleeve

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’



Record Press : Pallas

Label : Speakers Corner

Original Label :  Atlantic

Recording: 1958 by Tom Dowd

Production: Nesuhi Ertegun

Originally released in 1958

Reissued in 2018


Tracks : 

Side A :

  1. Gimme A Pigfoot
  2. Baby Doll
  3. On A Revival Day
  4. Money Blues
  5. I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle
  6. Back Water Blues

Side B :

  1. Empty Bed Blues
  2. There’ll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
  3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
  4. After You’ve Gone
  5. Young Woman’s Blues
  6. Preaching The Blues


Reviews :

« This is an album that should not have worked. LaVern Baker (a fine R&B singer) was joined by all-stars from mainstream jazz (including trumpeter Buck Clayton, trombonist Vic Dickenson, tenor-saxophonist Paul Quinichette and pianist Nat Pierce) for twelve songs associated with the great '20s blues singer Bessie Smith. Despite the potentially conflicting styles, this project is quite successful and often exciting. The arrangements by Phil Moore, Nat Pierce, and Ernie Wilkins do not attempt to re-create the original recordings; Baker sings in her own style (rather than trying to emulate Bessie Smith), and the hot solos work well with her vocals. » AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

It was 1958 when a passably successful R&B singer entered the recording studio with an all-star band to tape a dozen songs from the global repertoire of a legendary blues vocalist. The old-fashioned style in LaVern Baker’s tribute to Bessie Smith might seem somewhat strange in the midst of popular R&B numbers and the growing productivity of the Motown hit machines, but it certainly found favour with the public. And for a very good reason too! Right from the very first number, "Gimme A Pigfoot", the snappy bass line conjures up the ballroom atmosphere of the Twenties. A bluesy dialogue with the trumpet ("Baby Doll", "I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle"), alternating with robustly orchestrated swing rhythms ("On Revival Day"), and time and again cool, faltering blues ("Black Water Blues") guarantee great listening and entertainment. The great names in the band read like a Who Is Who of outstanding musicians – Nat Pierce, Buck Clayton, Paul Quinichette, Urbie Green and Jimmy Cleveland, all who crown the fantastic sound of their performance with relaxed and easy-going solos and finely balanced background playing that would hardly be more authentic on a live stage. And by the way, fans of traditional big-band swing will love this album too.


Ratings :

AllMusic : 4.5 / 5  , Discogs  5,00 / 5 ,   Rate Your Music 3,86 / 5

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