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There have been many attempts to describe Carmen McRaes ballad mastery, but perhaps she gave the most succinct explanation: Experience and emotion take over when I sing. I try to convince the audience of what I am singing about. I try to entertain the people, not just myself.
This release contains the three albums she recorded for the Kapp label which revealed her full maturity as a singer: Book of Ballads, and the soulful When Youre Awaytwo brilliant sets, each an impeccable testimony to her pre-eminence in modern songand Something to Swing About, a finger-snapping selection of up tempo swinging arrangements by Ernie Wilkins, featuring a group of outstanding jazz soloists, with McRae, in fine form, showing why she was considered to be one of the few original stylists of her time. She was a singer blessed with a unique sound and exquisite taste.
01. By Myself (Dietz-Schwartz) 3:10
02. The Thrill Is Gone (Brown-Henderson) 3:51
03. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G. & I. Gershwin) 4:05
04. Do You Know Why? (Burke-Van Heusen) 2:51
05. My Romance (Rodgers-Hart) 3:52
06. Isn't It Romantic? (Rodgers-Hart) 2:59
07. If Love Is Good to Me (Evans-Spielman) 3:27
08. When I Fall In Love (Heyman-Young) 3:46
09. Please Be Kind (Cahn-Chaplin) 3:12
10. He Was Too Good to Me (Rodgers-Hart) 2:40
11. Angel Eyes (Brent-Dennis) 2:40
12. Something I Dreamed Last Night (Yellen-Magidson-Fain) 3:57
13. When You're Away (Blossom-Herbert) 3:15
14. The More I See You (Warren-Gordon) 4:01
15. I Only Have Eyes for You (Warren-Dubin) 3:48
16. Willingly (Melodie Perdue) (Giraud-Sigman) 2:35
17. If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight) (CREamer-Johnson) 2:21
18. I'll Be Seeing You (Kahal-Fain) 3:42
01. I Concentrate on You (Cole Porter) 3:31
02. Ain't Misbehavin' (I'm Savin' My Love For You) (Waller-Brooks-Razaf) 3:18
03. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter) 3:02
04. When Your Lover Has Gone (E.A. Swan) 3:32
05. I'm Glad There Is You (Dorsey-Madeira) 3:54
06. Two Faces in the Dark (Fields-Hague) 3:06
07. Three Little Words (Kalmar-Ruby) 1:50
08. I Couldn't Care Less (Rogers Simon) 2:23
09. That's for Me (Rodgers-Hammerstein II) 2:46
10. (How Little It Matters) How Little We Know (LEigh-Springer) 2:28
11. You Leave Me Breathless (Fred Hollander) 2:37
12. It's Love (Comden-Green-Bernstein) 2:55
13. Love Is a Simple Thing (Carroll-Spiegel) 2:03
14. Comes Love (Braun-Tobias-Stept) 2:42
15. A Sleepin' Bee (Capote-Arlen) 2:26
16. I See Your Face Before Me (Dietz-Schwartz) 2:20
17. Alone Together (Dietz-Schwartz) 2:18
18. Falling In Love with Love (Rodgers-Hart) 2:11
CD 1, tracks #1-12, from the album "Book of Ballads" (Kapp KS3001)
CD 1, tracks #13-18 & CD 2, tracks #1-6 from the album "When You're Away"
CD 2, tracks #7-18 from the album "Something to Swing About" (Kapp KS3053)
Carmen McRae, sings in all tracks
Personnel on "Book of Ballads":
Accompanied by orchestra arranged & conducted by Frank Hunter
The Trio: Don Abney, piano; Joe Benjamin, bass; Charles Smith, drums.
Recorded in New York City, December 1 & 2, 1958
Personnel on "When You're Away":
Accompanied by orchestra arranged & conducted by Frank Hunter (CD 1 #16 and CD 2 #5), Luther Henderson, Jr. (CD 1 #13-15, 17-18 and CD 2 #1-4, 6)
Recorded in New York City, March 3,4 & 10, 1959
Personnel on "Something to Swing About":
Accompanied by orchestra arranged & conducted by Ernie Wilkins
Art Farmer, Jimmy Maxwell, Ernie Royal, Richard Williams, Al Stewart, Lennie Johnson, trumpets; Jimmy Cleveland, Billy Byers, Mickey Gravine, trombones; Paul Faulise, bass trombone; Phil Woods, Vinnie Dean, Porter Kilbert, alto saxes; Zoot Sims, Budd Johnson, tenor saxes; Dick Katz, piano; Tommy Williams, bass; Floyd Williams, drums.
Recorded in New York City, November 10,11 & 12, 1959
Liner notes: Jack O'Brian, Jordi Pujol
Photography: FSR archives
All original Kapp recordings
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.
"Carmen McRaes "The Complete Kapp Recordings" (FSR 677), a two-CD set that has all of the music from three albums cut during 1958-59 with arrangements for the orchestras by Frank Hunter, Luther Henderson and Ernie Wilkins. Whether on ballads or swingers, McRae (whose voice was higher than it would become later on) shows that she was already a superb jazz singer; listen to her phrasing on Aint Misbehavin."