Something Wonderful + Bonus Tracks
  • Carmen Mcrae
    Carmen Mcrae
  • Columbia CS8743
    Columbia CS8743

Carmen McRae

Something Wonderful + Bonus Tracks

Fresh Sound Records

Carmen McRae (vcl), Norman Simmons (p), Victor Sproles (b), Walter Perkins (d), Buddy Bregman, Marty Paich (arr, cond)

Reference: FSRCD 780

Bar code: 8427328607803


Carmen McRae (1920-1994) had a definitively personal way with songs and the aptly titled Something Wonderful captures this great singers subtle and expressive handling of a set of Broadway tunes. At once casual and dramatically nuanced, sophisticated in her phrasing and insights, she is accompanied by the brassy jazz-tinged sounds, subtle woodwinds and polished, lush-stringed backing of a big band propelled by Buddy Bregmans magnificent scoring.

Her voice possessed just enough natural defects and inflections to aid her in bending a phrase to her will, heightening the dramatic arc of a performance with the almost infallible sense of a storytellers instinct for light and shade. This ability to master a lyric led Down Beat critic John Tynan to observe, She manages to give the constant impression that shes never wrong in the interpretation and delivery of any song.

A worthy addition to this set includes three fine selections on which she sings with an orchestra conducted and arranged by Marty Paich, along with two songs from a rare single and four live performances recorded during the TV show Jazz Casual. For Carmen McRae singing was not a façade, but a deeply rewarding emotional experience. This is an enjoyable collection by a truly gifted singer.


Salute to Ethel Merman:
01. Blow, Gabriel, Blow / All Through the Night / Anything Goes (Cole Porter) 4:44
Salute to Judy Holiday:
02. Long Before I Knew You / Just In Time (Comden-Green-Styne) 3:18
Salute to Pearl Bailey:
03. Come Rain or Come Shine (Mercer-Arlen) 2:21
Salute to Ella Logan:
04. If This Isn't Love / Look to the Rainbow / That Great Come and Get It Day (Lane-Harburg) 3:55
Salute to Mary Martin:
05. A Wonderful Guy (Rodgers-Hammerstein II) 1:10
Salute to Jo Sullivan:
06. Don't Cry / I Like Ev'rybody / Warm All Over (Frank Loesser) 5:09
Salute to Dolores Gray:
07. Give a Little, Get a Little / There Never Was a Baby Like My Baby (Comden-Green-Styne) 3:40
Salute to Gertrude Lawrence:
08. Getting to Know You / Hello Young Lover / Something Wonderful (Rodgers-Hammerstein II) 3:53

09. So Long (Melsher-Harris-Morgan) 3:01 *
10. How Does the Wine Taste? (Dubey-Karr) 2:19 *
11. Night Life (Strouse-Adams) 2:44 *
12. Baby, Baby (Liptoin-Berkowitz) 2:14 *
13. Am I Going Out of Your Mind? (Tobias-Tridman) 1:45 *
14. Im Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key (Easton-Shand) 2:40 *
15. Trouble Is a Man (Alec Wilder) 3:30 *
16. If You Never Fall In Love with Me (Sam Jones) 3:36 *
17. 'Round Midnight (Monk-Hendricks) 4:30 *
18. Medley:
-Love For Sale (Cole Porter) 4:28 *
-Exactly Like You (McHugh-Fields) Outro 0:25 *

Album details

(*) Bonus Tracks

Tracks #1-8, from the LP "Something Wonderful · Interpretations of Great Moments on Broadway" (Columbia CS8743)
Track #9, from the 12 LP The Giants of Jazz (Columbia CS8770)
Tracks #10 & 11, from the single (Columbia 4-42376)
Tracks #12 & 13, from the single (Columbia 4-42642)
Tracks #14 & 18, from the TV program Jazz Casual


Carmen McRae sings in all tracks accompanied by
Tracks #1-8: Buddy Bregmans Orchestra
New York City, June 22 & July 11, 1962
Tracks #9-11: Orchestra arranged and conducted by Marty Paich
Los Angeles, February 6, 1962
Tracks #12-13: Unidentified quartet (p, g, b, d)
New York City, 1962
Tracks #14-18: Norman Simmons (p), Victor Sproles (b), Walter Perkins (d)
Recorded during the TV show Jazz Casual TV show, KOED Television Studios, San Francisco, March 15, 1962

Original cover photo by Henry Parker
Columbia recordings produced by Teo Macero
Jazz Casual TV show produced by Ralph Gleason
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
© 2013 by Fresh Sound Records

Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas, S.L.

Press reviews

"One of the few truly original vocalists, Carmen McRae made her name as one of the last of the verifiable bop vocalists, mixing a sardonic swing with deep emotion. This single cd contains the entire Something Wonderful LP from 1962 that has her with an orchestra arranged and conducted by Buddy Bregman. The format is a collection of medleys from shows that serve as salutes to the likes of Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Ella Logan and Gertrude Lawrence. McRaes delivery sounds a tad white washed than what you might be more accustomed to, and for the most part the music comes off as a Readers Digest version of show tunes; nothing is really taken in depth after the surface of the medley has been scratched. That deeper quality comes with the bonus tracks that have her with Marty Paichs band and a supporting team from the TV Show Jazz Casual. Here, McRae sounds like she means it on So Long and Baby, Baby. Her readings of If You Never Fall In Love With Me and Trouble Is A Man have McRaes heart on her sleeve, and make you beg for more."

George W. Harris (July 29, 2013)


9,95 €  (tax incl.)

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