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Carmen

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  RECORDINGS Ė THE 1970s
Black Lion, Temponic, Catalyst, Groove Merchant, Blue Note

BLACK LION

November Girl, 1975
The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band didn't record too often with vocalists, so this meeting with Carmen McRae had a lot of potential. McRae was likely seeing most of these songs for the first take at the recording sessions, since almost all are originals written by the band members. She's game and does her best, but several tracks are badly dated by Boland's insistence upon using an inferior electric piano. - KEN DRYEN allmusic.com

Released on CD by Rearword, 2004

TEMPONIC

Carmen, 1972
With Quincy Jones and an All-Star orchestra.
All songs composed by Bob Friedman with "Iíll Never Pass This Way Again" as a standout.

CATALYST

As Time Goes By, Live at the Dug in Japan, 1973
(Also known by the title, Alone)

Just Carmen, her piano and classic songs such as "As Time Goes By," "More Than You Know," and "Supper Time."

GROOVE MERCHANT

Ms. Jazz, 1973
With Tom Garvin and Dick Shreve on piano, Paul West on bass, Jimmy Madison and Frank Severino on drums, Larry Bunker on vibes and percussion, Zoot Sims on tenor saxophone, Joe Pass and Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar.

Carmen veers away from the standard repertory to include two tracks by Stevie Wonder (Example: "You Are the Sunshine of My Life") plus other contemporary selections, making for a vibrant and interesting session.

Reissued on CD by Groove Merchant in 1990

It Takes a Whole Lot of Human Feeling, 1973

With Dick Shreve on piano, Ray Brown on bass, Larry Bunker, vibes and percussion, Frank Severino, on drums, and Joe Pass on guitar

Carmen adds two songs by Blossom Dearie "Hey John" and "Inside a Silent Tear" (both standouts) to her selection of standards.

Reissued on CD by Laserlight with 3 additional tracks under the title Carmen McRae, The Jazz Collector Edition, 1991

Reissues and Collections

Velvet Soul, 2001
Reissue of Miss Jazz and It Takes a Whole Lot of Human Feeling on LRC. Reissue previously released by Delta in 1996.

BLUE NOTE

I Am Music, 1975
Dave Grusin, Frank Collett, keyboards; Dennis Budimir, guitar; John Gianelli, bass; Spider Webb, John Guerin, drums; Emil Richards, vibes, percussion; and string section.
An adventurous selection of ten songs, five with lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman, including a spoken piece, "Who Gave You Permission," and the poignant ballads "Live a Lover" and "I Have the Feeling Iíve Been Here Before."

At the Great American Music Hall, 1976
Marshall Otwell, piano; Ed Bennett, bass; and Joey Baron, drums; with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie guesting on some selections.
(double album)

"Carmen McRae has always shined on stage, and this fine account of her 1976 three-night stand at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco proves the point. Couched in that stellar Blue Note sound, McRae ranges far and wide on a set of standards. And McRae not only spices things up with an impressive reading of the bossa nova standard "Dindi," but she even goes completely out of her expected domain with a version of the Alice Cooper ballad "Only Woman Bleed" ó interesting, to say the least. Surprisingly, though, she turns this FM hit into one of the most effective performances here. The whole recording is remarkable, for that matter. And this, no doubt, can be traced to the McRae's choice of backing, which includes the venerable Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet and future drumming heavyweight Joey Baron." Ė STEPHEN COOK ,allmusic.com

Reissued on double CD by Toshiba EMI of Japan, 1994

Canít Hide Love, 1976
Arrangers:Gerald Wilson, Johnny Mandell, Larry Carlton, Thad Jones, and Dale Oihler. Concert master:Gerry Vinci, David Frisina

Only two of the ten selections are standards. While not all the contemporary tunes are successful, "All By Myself" and "Lost up in Loving You" have that Carmen touch of drama.

Reissued by Blue Note on CD in 1993

Live at Ronnie Scott's, 1977
Marshall Otwell, piano; John  Giannelle bass; and Joey Baron, drums.

Eight strandards plus two "pop" songs she added to her repertory in this period,  "Evergreen" and "With One More Look at You." (An example of a dramatic Carmen endng.)
 

COLLECTIONS

The Best of Carmen Mcrae, 1995, Blue Note
Selections from the above three albums plus the LPs, Blue Note Meets the L.A. Philarmonic, 1977, and Blue Note at the Roxy, 1976

 

















 
 
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