Valli Scavelli | Valli Scavelli sings Bessie Smith

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Bessie Smith

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Blues: Jazzy Blues Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Valli Scavelli sings Bessie Smith

by Valli Scavelli

Jazz renditions of Bessie's biggest hits from 1923 to 1933.
Genre: Blues: Jazzy Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl
3:57 $0.99
2. Lock and Key
3:03 $0.99
3. Kitchen Man
3:57 $0.99
4. Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town
2:55 $0.99
5. Dyin' by the Hour
3:55 $0.99
6. Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer
3:06 $0.99
7. Blue Blue
3:31 $0.99
8. Wild about that Thing
2:50 $0.99
9. Put it Right Here
2:24 $0.99
10. Empty Bed Blues
5:13 $0.99
11. Trombone Jimbo
3:08 $0.99
12. Take it Right Back to the Place You Got It
3:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In 1980, we were working nightly at Papa Choux, a piano bar in L.A. One of the regular customers requested some Bessie Smith. We just happened to know "Empty Bed Blues." We did it for him whenever he came in and were always rewarded with a generous tip. One night he told us that if we could get 12 Bessie Smith songs together he would produce an LP. Well, a lot of smoke gets blown in bars, but this guy was for real.

We did our homework and studied all of Bessie's extensive repertoire. In her era (1923 to 1933), she made 160 recordings. Her record sales rivaled those of Caruso and Al Jolson. "Downhearted Blues" sold 2 million records. Bessie recorded with just a piano and maybe one horn (trumpet, trombone or clarinet) behind her- no bass or drums. She was known as "The Empress of the Blues" but she sang a lot of other material as well, most of it earthy and double entendre.

We decided to do the LP with a late 30's jazz feel. We laid down the rhythm and vocal tracks, added the horn parts and started to mixdown when the producer suddenly died.

His name was Jim Alston and he was one of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War 2 fame.

The LP, made in 1980 was never released but we saved the tapes and here it is on CD. Thanks, Jim.



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