Trade Ed. Tantor Media 2014
CD ISBN 9781494503703 $39.99 Eleven CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 9781494553708 $29.99 One MP3-CDs
DD ISBN $17.99
Library Ed. Tantor Media 2014
CD ISBN 9781494533700 $83.99 Eleven CDs
Robertson Dean offers a solid reading of this biography of Bessie Smith, a pioneering jazz singer known as the “Empress of the Blues.” In the portions that cover the history and culture of the 1920s entertainment world, he keeps the text flowing by varying his pacing and adding appropriate pauses. But his real strength comes in direct quotations. He adopts just enough of an accent to clearly distinguish the speakers, whether black, white, American, or European. Further, the shifts from one to another sound perfectly natural. This book, an update of an earlier version, shines a light on Smith and offers perspective on the era’s artistic community as well as Smith’s rise and untimely death. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2014]
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