jueves, 5 de noviembre de 2009

LaVern Baker: See See Rider (1963) / Blues Ballads (1959)

A versatile vocalist, LaVern Baker proved capable of melding blues, jazz and R&B styles in a way that made possible the emergence of a new idiom: rock and roll. The niece of blues singer Memphis Minnie, Baker had a stunning voice that, with little effort, could crack walls, and yet her ballad singing was wonderfully sensitive. During her time at Atlantic Records (1953-62), she cut half a dozen singles that rose to high positions on both the pop and R&B charts, including 'Tweedle Dee' and 'Jim Dandy.' Here are two of her best albums from the vaults of that label: ‘Blues Ballads’ and ‘See See Rider’, released in 1959 and 1963, respectively. The tracks are not presented in the original sequence, but the ones dating from 1963 are easily identifiable as they are in stereo and tend to feature prominent bass guitar, then something of a novelty. While the former is not all blues or ballads, there are some great sides here, all sung with the intensity and energy that made Baker's material so memorable, like 'I Cried a Tear', a major hit for her late in 1958. It also includes a solid version of the Edith Piaf hit 'If You Love Me' plus 'Love Me Right', 'I Waited Too Long', 'Humpty Dumpty Heart', 'St. Louis Blues' and others. "Rider" has a more pop oriented feel with strings on many cuts. Besides the hit 'See See Rider', it includes 'He's a Real Gone Guy', 'You Said', 'Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes' and more. LaVern fans will enjoy this, since it contains so many fine recordings that aren't available anywhere else. http://www.oldies.com/
LaVern Baker performing 'Love Me Right in the Morning' (1957):

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