21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I prefer Odetta the folksinger,
This review is from: Best Of The Vanguard Years (Audio CD)
If you own the Essential Odetta you do not need this one. The Essential is the full version of her glorious live performance; on this we have 8 cuts from that CD, and not necessarily the best ones.
The other studio work ranges from pretty good to wonderful, but it is only 9 cuts. Odetta is a breathtaking performer who too often allows herself to perform second-rate material. With the best stuff, she's unbeatable. Saro Jane is a favorite song of mine; she is just fantastic on that one. And her performance of Woody's Rambling Round Your City is a winner. But I find her Battle Hymn rather dated, and the backup chorus by Milt Okun suffers from the same flaws the backup chorus on the coeval Cisco Houston LP does. Cool Water also fails.
And personally, the final four performances fail to make my cut. All performed much better by others, all sounding contrived and obligatory, all very much uninteresting to me.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2009 5:59:42 PM PDT
Nancy Sherburne says:
I had purchased a CD of various performers doing Woody Guthrie songs, and two tracks are Odetta doing Ramblin' Round Your City and A Great Historical Bum. I also purchased Greatest Fiolk Singers of the 60s which has her doing John Henry. On the strength of those three tracks, I decided it was time to get a collection of Odetta CDs. I love The Animals' rendition of House of the Rising Sun the best, so it will be interesting to contrast that band with her rich, emotional voice. One song I wonder if she did was When the Saints go Marching In. I admit I agreed with a statement by someone who reviewed another CD of hers that said she is one of the greatest singers you never knew. I intend to know her through buying some of her CDs.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2009 7:02:41 AM PDT
J. C Clark says:
Unfortunately, Odetta's best work is splattered across numerous CDs. Try the Essential first....higher great to weak ratio there!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2011 3:39:16 PM PST
If you haven't already, you might give "The Tradition Masters" a try. It's got a lot of her pre-Vanguard material; I find it more interesting than her later recordings (although there are definitely good things on her Vanguard CDs too.)
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