This album, originally released by Atlantic in 1982, features Sippie Wallace backed by Jim Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band. Bonnie Raitt plays slide guitar and contributes vocals on "Mama's Gone, Goodbye."
Full performer name: Sippi Wallace With Jim Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band.
Personnel: Sippie Wallace (vocals); Bonnie Raitt (vocals, guitar).
Jim Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band: Jim Dapogny (piano); Russ Whitman (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Paul Klinger (cornet); Bob Smith (trombone); Peter Ferran (clarinet, soprano & alto saxophones); Rod McDonald (guitar, banjo); Ed Wilkinson (bass, tuba); Wayne Jones (drums).
Recorded at Solid Sound, Ann Arbor, Michigan on February 14, 1982. Includes liner notes by Ron Harwood.
Sippie Wallace's first album in 15 years, and -- other than two slightly later albums for the German Vagabond label with pianist Axel Zwingenberger -- her final recording, finds the last surviving classic blues singer of the 1920s (along with Alberta Hunter who would pass away two years later) doing her best at the age of 83. Blues/pop star Bonnie Raitt had long loved Wallace's music and helped Sippie return to music after her 1970 stroke; she also influenced Atlantic to record the ancient blues veteran. Unfortunately, by 1982, Wallace's voice was considerably weaker than it had been in the 1920s or even in 1966 for a Storyville album. This date (which has been reissued on CD) has its historic value and charm, but is actually more highly recommended for the heated playing of Sippie's backup group, pianist Jim Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band. The octet features superior stride piano from the leader and a strong frontline consisting of cornetist Paul Klinger, trombonist Bob Smith and Russ Whitman and Peter Ferran on reeds. Sippie Wallace revives some of her best-known 1920s numbers ("Woman Be Wise," "Up the Country Blues," "Mighty Tight Woman" and "Suitcase Blues") and performs a few vintage standards too. Still, get this CD for the musicians rather than for the spirited but fading singer. ~ Scott Yanow