Ma Rainey – Mother of the Blues is definitely a title that no fan of vintage blues should be without. The ledgendary Rainey recorded over 100 songs between 1923 to 1928 for Paramount, a company notorious for using very poor recording techniques.? In addition to the low quality materials used in the pressings, playback devices of the era wore out the discs quickly. Today it’s almost impossible to find a Rainey record that is in playable condition, and no metal masters survive. This release by JSP records pulls together Rainey’s entire cataloge (including alternates) from the best surviving pressings they could find. The restorations are quite good considering the source material and although some hiss and surface noise remains, I can appreciate the hard work that went into making these records listenable.