LaVergne Smith was a singer and pianist whose warm, engaging way with torch songs and bluesy tunes was a popular part of the night-life French Quarter of her native New Orleans in the late 40s and 50s. Her vocal style was intimate and sensitive, and her self-accompaniment on piano simplest, yet she still projected a sophisticated approach that delighted the clientele of the smarter, candlelight saloons that began appearing there in 1947.
In this case, the boîte was the Old Absinthe House, located at the corner of Bienville and Bourbon streets in New Orleans, and known for the worm-wood derivative for which the place was namedabsinthe. It was in that musty green ambience, where she started singing in early 1954, that her Cook and Savoy albums included here were recorded. And it was there, during the third year of her engagement, that her artistry was captured on the Vik label for the final album of this set, on which she sings with so much feeling, warmth and conviction, enhanced by some fine, sympathetic New Orleans musicians.
01. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer (Toombs) 1:36
02. Lover Man (Davis-Ramirez-Sherman) 2:22
03. Hurry on Down to My House (Lutcher) 1:25
04. Blues in the Night (Arlen-Mercer) 2:36
05. Straighten Up and Fly Right (Cole-Mills) 1:18
06. One for the Road (Mercer-Arlen) 3:33
07. I Like That Kind of Carryin On (Pichon-Smith) 1:53
08. Moonlight in Vermont (Suessedorf-Blackburn) 3:22
09. That Old Black Magic (Arlen-Mercer) 2:00
10. Hey There (Adler-Ross) 3:22
11. Youd Better Go Man (Smith) 2:34
12. The Nearness of You (Carmichael-Washington) 3:21
13. A Hundred Years from Today (Young-Washington) 2:27
14. There is No Greater Love (Jones-Symes) 3:01
15. Am I Blue? (Askt-Clarke) 2:36
16. I've Got a Right to Cry (Liggins) 2:43
17. Fool That I Am (Carter-Saenz) 2:48
18. Mobile (Smith) 2:42
19. Somehow (Maser) 2:53
01. Basin Street Blues (Armstrong-Williams) 2:17
02. Imagination (Van Heusen-Burke) 2:37
03. Careless (Jurgens-Howard-Quadling) 2:59
04. It's Over (Smith) 3:19
05. Blue Skies (Berlin) 1:52
06. I Surrender Dear (Barris-Clifford-Crosby) 2:10
07. Out of Nowhere (Green-Heyman) 1:32
08. This Love of Mine (Sinatra-Sanicola) 1:49
09. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 2:52
10. When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan) 2:30
11. Blue Prelude (Bishop-Gordon Jenkins) 2:50
12. Too Marvelous for Words (Mercer-Whiting) 2:11
13. I Almost Lost My Mind (Hunter) 3:06
14. (How Can You Stay Away) So Long (Miller-Howfle-Burke) 2:59
15. Stormy Weather (Arlen-Koehler) 2:00
16. Glory of Love (Hill) 2:49
CD 1 - Tracks #1-11, from the album
"Angel in the Absinthe House" (Cook LP 1081)
CD 1 - Tracks #12-19 & CD 2, tracks #1-4 from
"The New Orleans Nightingale" (Savoy MG-1203)
CD 2 - Tracks #5-16, from the album "LaVergne Smith" (Vik LX-1056)
Personnel on "Angel in the Absinthe House":
LaVergne Smith, vocals & piano.
Recorded in New Orleans, late 1954
Personnel on "The New Orleans Nightingale":
LaVergne Smith, vocals, piano & celeste (on CD-1 #14, CD-2 #4), unknown guitar, bass and drums.
Recorded in New Orleans, May 24 (CD1), September 15 (CD2), 1955
Personnel on "La Vergne Smith":
LaVergne Smith, vocals, accompanied by Wallace Davenport (trumpet), Wendell Albert Eugene (trombone), Alvin 'Red' Tyler (baritone sax), Howard Mandolph (vibes), Ernst McLean (guitar), Philip Darios (bass), Earl Palmer (drums).
Recorded in New Orleans, June 11, 1956
Recordings supervised by Emory Cook, Fred Mendelsohn, and Herman Diaz, Jr.
Original cover design by John Witt (Cook), 'Fats' Pichon (Savoy)
Compiled for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.