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The Empress of the Blues

Read "The Empress of the Blues" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This broadcast opens with a celebration of the music of Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, in honor of her birthday, with new releases from saxophonist Melissa Aldana, vocalists Emma Larsson, Marc Jordan, Joanna Wallfisch and Claire Martin, plus more birthday shout outs to Dusty Springfield and Carline Ray (member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and mother of Catherine Russell). Playlist Jen Hodge “Chocolate Magic Mushrooms" from All's Fair in Love and Jazz (Self released) 00:00 ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff

Read "The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff 420 Pages ISBN: # 978-1496810021 University Press of Mississippi 2017 In the late 1970s, I began a more academic approach to blues music. In addition to listening to the music, I began reading everything I could find. One of the first books I read was Robert Palmer's sweeping narrative, Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bill Dahl's The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age

Read "Bill Dahl's The Art of the Blues:  A Visual Treasury of Black Music’s Golden Age" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Art of the Blues: A Visual Treasury of Black Music's Golden Age Bill Dahl 224 Pages ISBN: # 978-02263966992 University Of Chicago Press 2016 A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring... There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. --Alexander Pope Except when it doesn't, and we believe we know all; ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Writer Chris Albertson Revives Bessie Smith Again

Read "Writer Chris Albertson Revives Bessie Smith Again" reviewed by Daniel Kassell

BessieChris Albertson Yale University Press 336 pages 45 illustrations ISBN: 0300099029

Reprising his 1972 biography Bessie, Jazz Journalist and long time contributor to Stereo review Chris Albertson has added to the lore of the blues.

Historically and culturally the first successful woman entertainer in the United States Bessie Smith has been referred to as the “greatest , “highest paid and “The Empress of the Blues but by detractors ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bessie Smith: Down Hearted Blues

Read "Down Hearted Blues" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Bessie Smith perished in an automobile accident outside of Clarksdale Mississippi in 1937. Almost seventy years later, the "Empress of the Blues" continues to loom large in the American psyche. She, along with Louis Armstrong, defined--no, originated--the craft of jazz vocals. Naxos Jazz Legends begins its documentation of the Smith legend with a release of some of her earliest extant recordings for Columbia between February 1923 and April 1924. Ms. Smith had sparse accompaniment, usually only a piano or a ...