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Muddy Water
(A Mississippi Moan)

Bessie Smith


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Feat. Coleman Hawkins


Recorded in New York City on March 2nd 1927 featuring Bessie Smith vocals, Joe Smith cornet, Jimmy Harrison trombone, Coleman Hawkins and Buster Bailey clarinet, Horace Henderson piano & director, and Charlie Dixon banjo.

*"Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)" was composed by Peter DeRose, Harry Richman, and Jo Trent.

Bessie belts this proud poor southern anthem backed by a downsized version of the Fletcher Henderson band with a clarinet only appearance by Coleman Hawkins. Her voice does well to further accentuate the lyrics of this already heartfelt cry for the South.

On some of the other songs from this recording session, it is only Buster Bailey or Coleman Hawkins, but here they play duet fills throughout. Incidentally, Hawkins played clarinet on many early (and later) Henderson records where a clarinet duet (with Don Redman) or trio (with Redman and Bailey) was part of the arrangement. Hawkins has a clarinet solo on "Hot and Anxious" as recorded by Fletcher's band in 1931 under their "Baltimore Bellhops" pseudonym. This is considered to be Horace Henderson's date as a "leader" since both it and the flip side ("Comin' and Goin'") were arranged by Horace. -Daniel Weinstein

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