The Best of the Vanguard Years

The Best of the Vanguard Years

by OdettaOdetta

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Overview

Odetta began recording in the mid-'50s but her best known work (and easiest to find) is from her early-'60s stay with Vanguard Records, the period that this introductory compilation is drawn from, and these clear, uncluttered and focused tracks make a fine introduction to this dedicated singer. Odetta, like so many other great American singers, discovered her voice in church, but she also has a background in theater, so when the folk revival hit with commercial force in the '60s, she knew exactly how to present her traditional material in concert for the greatest dramatic effect, a trait that made her a striking figure on the scene. These recordings brim with sincerity and power and underscore the fact that Odetta, much like Harry Belafonte before her, works the artful end of folk song, interpreting to theatric taste rather than reproducing a facsimile of the source material. She remains a riveting and intellectually fulfilling performer, all of which comes through in this anthology.

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