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Eva Taylor Vol. 3 (1928-1932)

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Album Review

The third of three Document CDs that have all of singer Eva Taylor's recordings under her own name prior to 1967 contains a wide variety of material. Never strictly a blues singer, Taylor had the potential to go the route later traveled by Ethel Waters, but she chose to mostly record with her husband Clarence Williams' groups. Taylor's infrequent sessions as a leader always found her in good voice although during 1928-29 the material could be erratic. Some of the selections on this 24-cut disc are fairly sappy ballads but there are also excellent versions of "Back in Your Own Backyard," "I'm Busy and You Can't Come In," two renditions apiece of "Have You Ever Felt That Way" and "West End Blues," plus "You Don't Understand." Among the more notable backup musicians are pianist Williams, cornetists Ed Allen and (on two songs) King Oliver, clarinetist Buster Bailey, the pioneer jazz flutist Albert Socarras, guitarist Eddie Lang, pianist James P. Johnson and (on two songs) a white dance orchestra that includes Leo McConville and Tommy Dorsey. Four of the numbers on this CD (their recording quality is a bit shaky) were previously unissued. After the final 1929 date, Taylor only had one more early date as a leader: two numbers in 1932 with "The Riffers," an intriguing vocal group that includes Lil Armstrong and Clarence Williams (whose piano provides the only accompaniment). Vol. 2 is the Eva Taylor Document to get, but all three have their moments.


Born: January 22, 1895 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '20s, '30s

Blues singer Eva Taylor broke new ground as an African American vocalist during the early part of the 20th century. She was among the first whose talent was broadcast on radio programs of the day, and she held down her own program in the '20s for NBC. She began recording around 1922, first for Black Swan and eventually for other labels that included Columbia, Okeh, and Bluebird. Her work spanned popular music and jazz in addition to her blues work. The Dixie Nightingale, as she was christened by...
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Eva Taylor Vol. 3 (1928-1932), Eva Taylor
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