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Sammy Price, who was active well into his 80's, worked both as a blues and jazz pianist, with special talents in the former genre and quite handy in the latter. This 2-CD set captures Price accompanying a variety of blues singers in his role of house pianist for Decca Records. Some singers here were better than others. One of the better was Bea Foote, who sported that strong vibrato which characterized many female blues singers of the period. Foote had a matter of fact delivery eschewing a down in the dumps style. She simply tells it like it is or was. These albums benefit from the presence of outstanding jazz players. On Foote's "Jive Lover" , pioneering trombonist J. C. Higginbotham gets in a few measures of soloing. Buster Bailey's New Orleans' clarinet has a strong role on "Heart Broken Blues". Regrettably the identify of the trio of singers on this cut remain a mystery. Yack Taylor, who's represented by five songs, benefits from a fine, but unknown, blues guitar on "My Mellow Man".
These performances were originally reissued in 1998 on the Austrian Wolf label. The remastering by Gerhard Wessely is outstanding and helps make these volumes worthy of consideration by blues lovers.
Track Listing: Volume 1. 1938-1941. Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Go Down Moses, Heartbroken Blues, Mississippi Moan - Ebony Three; Try and Get It, Jive Lover, I Want a Long Time Daddy - Bea Foote; The Monkey Swing, Jammin' in Georgia, My Understanding Man, Serenade to a Jitterbug - Hester Lancaster - Vocal; My Mellow Man, Knockin' Myself Out, You're Gonna Go Your Way and I'm Gonna Go Mine, Don't Stop Now, My Nightmare Jockey - Yack Taylor; The Low Down Lonely Blues, Rock Me in the Groove, Black Cat Bone, These Low Down Men Blues - Sweet Georgia Brown; Make Me Love you, Fruit Cakin' Mama, Black Gal, Thinking Blues - Ruby Smith Volume 2. Do Your Duty, Low Down Dirty Groundhog - Lether McGraw; Death Letter Blues, Death Cell Blues - James Carter; Let Me Rock Your Home, Why Don't You Do Right, Love Me, Yump Da Da Da, Cannon Ball, Deep Sea Diver - Nora Lee King; If I'm a Fool, I Love to Georgia Brown So Slow, Uncle Sam Come and Get Him, If I Didn't Love You, See See Rider Blues, Let's Be Friends, Catchin' as Catch Can, War Rationin' Papa, Mr. Freddie Blues, Gulf Coast Blues - Wee Bea Booze (Muriel Nicholls); Working Man (Doing the Best I Can); Trouble Blues, President's Blues, I'm a Little Piece of Leather - Herman "Peetie Wheatstraw" Ray
Personnel: Volume 1. Sammy Price - Piano; Buster Bailey - Clarinet; Richard Fullbright - bass; O'Neil Spencer - Drums; Charlie Shavers - Trumpet; J. C. Higginbotham - Trombone; Leonard Ware - Guitar Volume 2 - Sammy Price - Piano; Charlie Shavers, Dizzy Gillespie- Trumpet; Buster Bailey, Jimmy Hamilton - Clarinet; Wellman Braud, Charlie Drayton, Abe Bolar - Bass; Ham Jackson, Lonnie Johnson - Guitar; Pete Brown - Alto Sax; Roy Nathan, Hal West - Drums; J. T. Brown - Tenor Sax