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Ginger Smock 1946-1958 Los Angeles Studio and Demo Recordings

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Ginger Smock was a West Coast violinist and protégé of Stuff Smith, though this compilation includes nearly all of her known recordings from studio dates, airchecks, demos, and TV broadcasts. The early sessions are very much in a jazz vein, mixing standards and a freewheeling blues called "A Woman's Place Is in the Groove," in which Smock is better able to show off her capabilities, with some fine muted trumpet by composer Edna Williams. Smock adds her vocals on the ballads "My Heart Tells Me" and "Stealing Kisses." On tracks led by Cecil "Count" Carter, Smock steals the show from the band with her slashing attack in an R&B setting, especially on "Strange Blues" (which was strangely unissued until this disc), though this date includes West Coast legends Red Callender (on bass) and pianist Gerry Wiggins. She made an anonymous guest appearance on the corny rockabilly tune "Fiddler's Rock," though she is easily the high point of this track. It is a shame that Smock was not able to get better exposure in jazz settings, though opportunities for an African-American female jazz violinist in the 1940s and 1950s were likely extremely limited. The poor condition of some of the source material mandated judicious editing by CD producer Anthony Barnett, whose sound restoration is excellent. This rewarding date in AB Fable's series of Violin Improvisation Studies is available through

Ginger Smock 1946-1958 Los Angeles Studio and Demo Recordings, Ginger Smock
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