Carmen McRae (vcl), with Frank Hunter, Luther Henderson, Jr. & Ernie Wilkins Orchestras, including Art Farmer (tp), Jimmy Cleveland, Billy Byers (tb), Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Budd Johnson (saxes), Dick Katz (p), Tommy Williams (b), Floyd Williams (d)
Reference: FSRCD 677_2
Bar code: 8427328606776
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.
"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."
Scott Yanow -Los Angeles Jazz Scene (April, 2012)
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