Helen Carr (1922-1960) was one of those singers with an innate jazz feeling, sensitive phrasing, and a warm, unaffected sound, which she skillfully used to stamp her personality at any beat and fill each performance with an inescapable atmosphere.
She spent the late Forties working with the Chuck Foster and Buddy Morrow orchestras, and finally made her first major mark on the business in 1950, as the blonde singer in Charlie Barnet’s orchestra. Subsequently, she sang with the aggregations of Georgie Auld and Stan Kenton, and in between she sat in with Charlie Parker and Chet Baker at the Tiffany Club.
In 1954 Helen, gave up the band business to try her luck as a single. She appeared at the Crescendo club and elsewhere in Los Angeles, where she gained some traction, and Red Clyde, the West Coast producer for Bethlehem Records, signed Helen to the label. Her contract resulted in two excellent albums under her own name, as well as two songs she recorded as a guest singer in a Max Bennett date, with all sessions taking place in 1955.
Even though she died at a young age and remained largely unknown outside of the West Coast, Helen Carr left an undeniable mark as a jazz vocalist. Her recordings are few but sufficient to provide an eloquent example of how she understood a song and was able to communicate its essence to the listener.
01. Not Mine (Schertzinger-Mercer) 2:58
02. I Don’t Want to Cry Anymore (Victor Schertzinger) 5:12
03. Tulip Or Turnip (Ellignton-George) 2:21
04. Memory of the Rain (Trenner-Carr) 2:45
05. Down in the Depths of the 90th Floor (Cole Porter) 3:09
06. You're Driving Me Crazy (Walter Donaldson) 2:54
07. I'm Glad There Is You (Dorsey-Madeira) 2:58
08. Moments Like This (Loesser-Lane) 2:23
09. They Say (Heyman-Mann-Weiss) 3:03
10. Do You Know Why? (Van Heusen-Burke) 3:25
11. Be Careful, It's My Heart (Irving Berlin) 1:54
12. My Kind of Trouble Is You (Benny Carter) 3:54
13. Lonely Street (Villepigue-Carr) 2:19
14. Symphony (Alstone-Lawrence) 2:21
15. You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me (Warren-Dubin) 3:33
16. Bye Bye Baby (Styne-Robin) 2:28
17. Then You've Never Been Blue (Lewis-Young-Fiorito) 2:19
18. Summer Night (Warren-Dubin) 1:58
19. Got a Date with an Angel (Tunbridge-Waller-Grey-Miller) 3:41
20. Why Do I Love You? (Kern-Hammerstein II) 2:35
21. Do I Worry? (Cowan-Worth) 2:26
22. I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin' (Brown-Freed) 2:02
23. It's Beautiful (Skylar-Frisch) 2:47 *
24. Love Is a Serious Business (Tepper-Bennett-Schroeder) 2:37 *
25. Say It Isn't So (Irving Berlin) 2:37 *
26. Everything Happens to Me (Dennis-Adair. Arr. Bill Russo) 4:14 *
(*) Bonus Tracks
Tracks #1-8, from the 10-inch LP
"…Down in the Depths on the 90th Floor" (Bethlehem BCP 1027)
Tracks #9 & 10, taken from the 10-inch LP "Max Bennett" (Bethlehem BCP 1028)
Tracks #11-22, from the 12-inch LP "Why Do I Love You" (Bethlehem BCP 45)
Tracks #23 & 24, from the MGM 7” Single K12578
Track #25, from the 78rpm Dolphins of Hollywood 300-A
Track #26, from an NBC Broadcast of The Bob Snyder Show
Helen Carr, vocals in all tracks
Personnel on #1-8:
Don Fagerquist, trumpet; Charlie Mariano, alto sax; Donn Trenner, piano; Max Bennett, bass; Stan Levey, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, January 5, 1955
Personnel on #9-10:
Frank Rosolino, trombone; Charlie Mariano, alto sax; Claude Williamson, piano; Max Bennett, bass; Stan Levey, drums.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, January 27, 1955
Personnel on #11-22:
Cappy Lewis, trumpet; Howard Roberts, guitar; Red Mitchell, bass.
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, November 11, 1955
Personnel on #23 & 24:
Orchestra and Chorus Conducted by LeRoy Holmes.
Recorded in New York City, October 1957
Personnel on #25:
Charles “Baron” Mingus and His Rhythm
Donn Trenner, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Johnny Berger, drums.
Recorded in Los Angeles, March 1949
Personnel on #26:
The Stan Kenton Orchestra
Recorded at The Bob Snyder Show, Town Casino, Cleveland, Ohio, June 22, 1952
Original liner notes: Sid Garris & Joe Quinn
New Liner notes: Jordi Pujol
Cover and liner notes photos by Dave Pell © Fresh Sound Archives
Recordings produced by Red Clyde (#1-22), Morty Craft (#23 & 24), John Dolphin (#25)
This compilation produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.