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Sara Martin Vol. 2 (1923-1924)

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Album Review

Based on the music that Sara Martin recorded at the beginning of her career (and released on Vol. 1 of this four-CD series), she was primarily a superior vaudevillian performer. However, Vol. 2 shows that Martin was actually an even better blues singer. In general, the material that she recorded had improved by mid 1923, as had her singing, and there are many gems among the 23 songs included on this disc. Martin is accompanied on the first seven selections by pianist Clarence Williams, is joined on four numbers by small groups led by Williams (and including cornetist Tom Morris and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet), is backed by pianist Porter Grainger on six songs and then, most intriguingly, performs duets with Sylvester Weaver (heard on two numbers apiece on guitar and banjo). Other than the band numbers, the focus throughout is mostly exclusively on the singer who is heard in prime form on such tunes as "New Orleans Hop Scop Blues," "Mistreated Mama Blues," "Slow Down Sweet Papa, Mama's Catching Up with You" and "Everybody's Got the Blues." Formerly rare music that is both historical and quite strong for the period.


Born: 18 May 1884 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s

Known in her heyday as "the blues sensation of the West," the big-voiced Sara Martin was one of the best of the classic female blues singers of the '20s. Martin began her career as a vaudeville performer, switching to blues singing in the early '20s. In 1922, she began recording for OKeh Records, cutting a number of bawdy blues like "Mean Tight Mama." She continued recording until 1928. During this time, Martin became a popular performer on the southern Theater Owners' Booking Association circuits,...
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Sara Martin Vol. 2 (1923-1924), Sara Martin
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