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Music  >>  CDs  >>  Jazz

Alberta Hunter

Downhearted Blues

Alberta Hunter Downhearted Blues
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Born in 1895, and having been an early blues innovator in the 1920s, Alberta Hunter became a living link to the jazz-age and stars like Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson and Ma Rainey. In the late `50s she started a second career as a nurse, and mostly retired from music, but by the mid-70s was lured back to live performance. In 1981, at age 85, she recorded this live set at a New York cabaret called The Cookery. Hunter was still sharp-as-a-tack; her sassy stage patter, interactions with the band and audience, and vocalizing are filled with percussive energy, knowing phrasings and deep experience and wisdom. Singing with accompaniment from Gerald Cook (piano, arrangements) and Jimmy Lewis (bass), Hunter covers standards that she wrote (and as she noted, was still collecting royalties on) as well as a selection of standards from other authors of the great American songbook

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