Bessie Smith: Empress of the Blues

Chris Albertson, Gunther Schuller
Dust jacket notes: "Bessie Smith combined natural earthiness and vigor with remarkable musical sensitivity. Her art is a diamond with hundreds of facets. She took the rough, undisciplined blues form and converted it into exquisitely subtle jazz, without losing any of the power. Soul music simply could not exist today without her contribution. She was a pop singer in the best sense. Now, Bessie comes alive again in this unique collection of her most famous songs. Not just copies of sheet music, here are actual transcriptions of her recorded performances, with piano reductions and guitar chords. Chris Albertson contributes a discography and a biographical sketch of Bessie, including newly discovered information and photographs not published in his standard biography, and Gunther Schuller's notes on Bessie's unique singing style are perhaps the only good critical description of her art. This book is the ideal companion to the recent, history-making set of Bessie's complete recordings." The songs in the songbook portion of the book are: It Makes My Love come Down; Long Road; Jailhouse Blues; Dirty No-Gooder's Blues; Down in the Dumps; In the House Blues; Shipwreck Blues; Safety Mama; Take Me For A Buggy Ride; Blue Blues; Wasted Life Blues; Standin' in the Rain Blues; Squeeze Me; Baby Won't You Please Come Home; Pickpocket Blues; Backwater Blues; Young Woman's Blues; See If I'll Care; New Orleans Hop Scop Blues; Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out; Baby Doll; Please Help Me Get Him Off My Mind; Reckless Blues; My Man Blues; Poor Man's Blues; Hard Time Blues; Tain't Nobody's Biz-Ness If I Do; Cake Walking Babies From Home; Gimme a Pigfoot; Gulf Coast Blues.


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