Lodi Carr, Norma Mendoza (vcl), Jimmy Wisner, Stan Free (p, dir), Don Elliott (vib, mel), Al Klink (saxes), Herman Foster (p), Mundell Lowe (g), George Duvivier, Herman Wright, Ace Tessone, Hank Caruso (b), Ed Shaughnessy, Jerry Segal, Dave Levin (d)
Reference: FSR V134 CD
Bar code: 8427328641340
The Best Voices Time Forgot
Collectible Albums by Top Female Vocalists
· Collector's Edition
· 2 Original LPs on 1 CD
· Original Cover Art, Liner Notes
· Complete Personnel Details
· Hi Fi Recordings
· Newly Remastered in 24-Bit
Singer Lodi Carr (1933), also known as Ladybird, acquired her considerable musicianship during the late '40s and early '50s from an impressive roster of Detroit musicians, all part of the main core of men who were powering the resurgence of modern jazz in the Motor City. It was among such inspiring environment that she galvanized her distinctive, straight-ahead delivery, full of keen understanding and good taste. Those strengths are what in turn helped her attract some of the most distinguished musicians to her engagements when she eventually moved to New York in 1957. "Ladybird," recorded in 1960, was her first and only album. By then she was already a seasoned singer, so nothing feels frantic or hurried. Her voice is deep, with a rich and direct approach, and she sings with a good sense of timing and rhythm. Stan Free’s sextet provided Lodi with some well conceived and functional background arrangements, and in two tracks we hear her backed by the Jerry Segal Trio, bringing to the table some versatile and swinging rhythmic accompaniment that does much to enhance this album’s appeal.
All About Norma
Legendary radio disc jockey Sid Mark based in Philadelphia heard Norma Mendoza’s first TV appearance in October 1959. She was singing Jimmy Wisner’s instrumental tune Sidney ’s Soliloquy which had no lyrics, so the composer had to write some to fit Norma’s translucent voice. After the song was over, the DJ announced that she was a great talent, and this, from the man who had brought the great Nina Simone out of limbo, was no easy compliment. Norma is a completely natural singer with classical training, driven by clear diction and imaginative phrasing. Her voice is somewhere between an alto and a mezzo-soprano, conferring her a remarkable two-octave range and a slight sultry edge.
With the supportive backing of the Jimmy Wisner Trio, Norma managed to stamp her personality, cool reading and sophisticated approach on the collection of engaging performances that is "All About Norma."
"It continues to boggle the mind when one starts realizing how many excellent female vocalists were on the jazz scene in the 1950s and 60s. You only scratch the surface with Ella, Sassy, Chris Connor and Peggy Lee, as Spain-based Fresh Sound Records keeps digging up buried treasures that deserve to be heard and heard again. Here are a couple recent finds…
THE VOICES THAT TIME FORGOT series continues with a pair of obscure gems.
Lodi “Ladybird” Carr was part of the Detroit scene in the 50s and 60s, and her recording here from 1960 teams her with Don Elliott/vib-vphone, Al Klink/reeds, Stan Free/p, Mundell Lowe/g, George Duvivier/b, Ed Shaunessy/dr and the Jerry Segal Trio. She’s got a luscious late night vibrato, as on the intimate “The Masquerade Is Over” and oozes with Elliott’s mellow mellophone on “When I Fall In Love” and the personal “My Ship”. She floats with Klink’s flute on a genteel “I’m Lost” and is California Cool for “There’ll Never Be Another You”. An evening breeze.
Norman Mendoza is not exactly a household name either, but her Anita O’Day’d clarity and swing has a mix of confident sass as on “Our Love Is Here To Stay” or the bopping “And Then There Were None”. The pianist Jimmy Wisner composes a healthy does of the material and with Ace Tessone/b and Hank Caruso-Dave Levin/dr, leads the band through a haunting take of the traditional “Black Is The Color” or his casual and misty “Dreamy Eyes” and glowing “ Warm”. She flexes her muscles backed by Wisner’s Big Band on a swinging “If It’s Love”, making you wonder how you missed this lady first time out."
—George W. Harris (November 26, 2021)
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