Archive for the V.A. Songs We Taught Your Mother Category

V.A. Songs We Taught Your Mother 1961

Posted in BLUES, V.A. Songs We Taught Your Mother on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

V.A. Songs We Taught Your Mother 1961
1992 Issue.


Although Alberta Hunter, who had briefly come out of retirement, gets first billing on this CD reissue, in reality she shares the spotlight with two other veterans of the 1920s: Lucille Hegamin and Victoria Spivey. Each of the singers is featured on four songs apiece while backed by such top players as clarinetist Buster Bailey, trombonist J.C. Higginbottham, and Cliff Jackson or Willie “The Lion” Smith on piano. Hunter is in superior form on such numbers as “You Gotta Reap Just What You Sow” and “I Got a Mind to Ramble,” although she would soon be out of music for another 15 years, continuing her work as a nurse. Hegamin (who had not recorded since 1932) was having a brief last hurrah, despite sounding good, and Spivey, reviving her “Black Snake Blues,” would soon be launching her own Spivey label. This is a historic and enjoyable set recommended to both classic jazz and blues collectors.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
In 1961 jazz-backed blues seemed slack, almost nonexistent. Bebop, hard bop, tenor sax & organ combos, and the avant-garde were more relevant in the jazz world. And blues was veering toward an electrified, altogether different realm. So when Chris Albertson brought Alberta Hunter, Victoria Spivey, and Lucille Hegamin to the acclaimed Rudy Van Gelder’s studio to capture songs from the era when jazz and blues melded together, the result could’ve easily sounded thinly nostalgic. But with a backing band that included pianist Willie “the Lion” Smith (on Hegamin’s four tunes) and trombonist J.C. Higginbotham and clarinetist Buster Bailey (on the four tracks from both Hunter and Spivey), this session came out topnotch. It’s redolent of an earlier era (specifically the early 1920s, when the three singers got their starts), but each of the tracks is potent with a deep, slow swing accentuating the peerless vocals. Spivey’s grainy voice is impassioned and powerful, in the same way that Hunter’s is unmistakable in its slight waver, carrying her sometimes near-spoken lines to the stars (especially as she delivers jewels like this: “I don’t like those hepster lovers / They’ve got larceny in their eyes / They got a handful of gimme / And a mouthful of much obliged”). The acoustics are as sharp as any of Van Gelder’s sessions, and the music is majestic.
By Andrew Bartlett.
Every time I listen this album,I feel like a proud father who have to choose which one is his favourite daughter.As the big fan of 1920’s classic female blues,I find this album simply irressistible.Since the biggest and the most talented names (Ma Rainey,Bessie Smith)were dead until 1940’s,Chris Albertson (author of Bessie Smith biography) saved music of survived contemporaries Victoria Spivey,Alberta Hunter and Lucille Hegamin for new generations of music lovers.All three of them,in my opinion,sound better and more enthusiastic then in their younger days,althought true to be told,only Spivey would fitt in the blues category,while Hegamin and Albert represent old-time vaudeville tradition.Wonder why Sippie Wallace and Ida Cox (still recording at the time of this album) were not invited… While Spivey and specially Hunter recorded long afterwards,this was the last time we heard from wonderful,clear-voiced Hegamin who was obviously enjoying herself on these recordings.She sounded like enthusiastic school girl trapped in a body of older woman!My only regret is that,althought this album was recorded in one day,the chance to hear these three voices singing together was missed,we only hear each of them separatedly.
By Sasha Lampic.
Alberta Hunter- (Vocals);
Victoria Spivey- (Vocals, Piano);
Lucille Hegamin- (Vocals);
Cecil Scott- (Clarinet, Tenor Sax);
Buster Bailey- (Clarinet);
Sidney DeParis- (Trumpet, Tuba);
Henry Goodwin- (Trumpet);
J.C. Higginbotham- (Trombone);
Cliff Jackson , Willie “Big Eyes” Smith- (Piano);
Gene Brooks, Zutty Singleton- (Drums).
01. I Got Myself A Workin’ Man (Alberta Hunter) 3:15
02. St. Louis Blues (Lucille Hegamin) 3:31
03. Black Snake Blues (Victoria Spivey) 4:07
04. I Got A Mind To Ramble (Alberta Hunter 2:40
05. You’ll Want My Love (Lucille Hegamin) 2:58
06. Going Blues (Victoria Spivey) 4:45
07. You Gotta Reap What You Sow (Alberta Hunter) 2:41
08. Arkansas Blues (Victoria Spivey) 3:38
09. Got The Blues So Bad 8Victoria Spivey) 3:08
10. Chirpin’ The Blues (Alberta Hunter) 3:32
11. Has Anybody Seen My Corine (Lucille Hegamin) 4:35
12. Let Him Beat Me (Victoria Spivey) 2:59

Continue reading