The Quintessence

The Quintessence "The Empress": 1923 - 1933

by Bessie Smith


3 New & Used Starting at $24.48


Bessie Smith's memory is well-served by Fremeaux's two-CD set, which samples many of her best moments on record from her ten-year career, beginning with her first issued side from February 1923 and ending with one example from her last date in November 1933. As is usual for this label, the contents were well chosen for the purposes of a selected overview. Smith recorded with many of the greatest jazz players of her generation, including James P. Johnson and members of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra. She interacted beautifully with cornetists Louis Armstrong, Joe Smith, and Tommy Ladnier, and uncommonly well with trombonist Charlie Green, whose phrasing and temperament were perfectly suited to her personality. One great example of that shared dynamic is the two-part "Empty Bed Blues" of 1928. Had she lived longer, it is quite likely that this singer would have expanded her repertoire to include larger quantities of jazz, as evidenced by her collaborations with James P. Johnson (especially "Back Water Blues" and "Wasted Life Blues"), and with various small groups led by Henderson and Buck Washington. This collection may serve as an ideal introduction to her artistry. Those who fall in love with her honesty and passionate delivery may wish to investigate her complete recorded works as reissued by Columbia, Classics, or JSP.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/30/2002
Label: Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr
UPC: 3448960222327
catalogNumber: 223

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bessie Smith   Primary Artist
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
Chu Berry   Tenor Saxophone
Sidney DeParis   Trumpet
James P. Johnson   Piano,Leader
Jack Teagarden   Trombone
Frankie Newton   Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Ladnier   Cornet
Louis Armstrong   Cornet
Louis Bacon   Trumpet
Bessemer Singers   Track Performer
Happy Caldwell   Tenor Saxophone
June Cole   Tuba
Charlie Dixon   Banjo
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Porter Grainger   Piano
Hall Johnson Choir   Vocals
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Jimmy Jones   Piano
Fred Longshaw   Organ,Piano
Clarence Williams   Piano
Ernest Elliott   Clarinet
Ralph Escudero   Tuba
Charlie Green   Trombone
Floyd Casey   Drums
Blue Boys   Track Performer
Billy Taylor   Bass
Irving Johns   Piano
Harry Hull   Tuba
Daniel Nevers   Musical Direction
Narcisse Christian   Banjo
Bobby Johnson   Guitar
James P. Johnson & His Orchestra   Track Performer
Buck & His Band   Track Performer
Down Home Boys   Track Performer
J. Rosamond Johnson   Vocals
Bessie Smith & Her Band   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Bessie Smith   Composer,Author
Irving Berlin   Composer
Ida Cox   Composer
James P. Johnson   Arranger
Perry Bradford   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Andy Razaf   Composer
Ma Rainey   Composer
Lovie Austin   Composer
George Brooks   Composer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Peter DeRose   Composer
J.C. Johnson   Composer
Turner Layton   Composer
Fred Longshaw   Composer
Jo Trent   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
G.C. Coleman   Composer
Tony Baldwin   Adaptation,English Translations
Harry Richman   Composer
Wesley Wilson   Composer
Patrick Frémeaux   Concept
C. Williams   Composer
Daniel Nevers   Liner Notes,Text
Henry Troy   Composer
Addy Britt   Composer
Paul Carter   Composer
John Robinson   Composer
A.K. Hunter   Composer
C. Davis   Composer
Claude Colombini   Concept
Theodore Metz   Composer

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