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Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong & The Louis Armstrong Orchestra

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When filmmaker Ken Burns' multi-part documentary Jazz ran on PBS in 2001, Sony and Universal teamed up on a series of compilation albums of artists featured in the show, and sales were brisk. In 2003, film director Martin Scorsese served as executive producer of a series of films under the umbrella heading The Blues for PBS, and Sony and Universal launched a similar project with similar commercial hopes. Bessie Smith is an obvious choice for an inclusion in the series, and there's nothing wrong with the 15-track distillation of her record catalog released under the title Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. If a blues neophyte, catching Smith on TV, goes out and buys this midline-priced compilation, that listener will hear some of Smith's best performances. But Smith was already well-represented in the record racks before this release. The Collection, released by Columbia/Legacy more than a decade earlier, was a 16-track best-of, and it was still in print at the same $11.98 list price on the day that Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues was released. The two-disc The Essential Bessie Smith from 1997, while considerably more expensive, was also in print and highly recommended. (This is not to mention the numerous European imports containing the same material, in inferior packaging and sound quality, but at even lower prices). So, if Columbia/Legacy sells a few more Smith records through this campaign, more power to it, but the disc upon release was actually redundant in terms of the artist's in-print discography.


Geboren: 15 april 1894 op Chattanooga, TN

Genre: Blues

Jaren actief: '20s, '30s

The first major blues and jazz singer on record and one of the most powerful of all time, Bessie Smith rightly earned the title of "The Empress of the Blues." Even on her first records in 1923, her passionate voice overcame the primitive recording quality of the day and still communicates easily to today's listeners (which is not true of any other singer from that early period). At a time when the blues...
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Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Bessie Smith, Bessie Smith
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  • € 8,99
  • Genres: Blues, Muziek, Jazz, Traditionele jazz, Chicago blues
  • Releasedatum: 04-09-2003


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