See and hear Carmen
Interview by Art Taylor
Film, Television, Radio
Friends and Fans
STARTER SET – An Introduction to Carmen McRae
representing her career (from the beginning in 1955 to the near end, 1988).
"I’ll Be Seeing You" Produced by
Orrin Keepnews for Decca, 1995.
Double CD Collection of thirty-nine songs from the Decca/Kapp albums
(1950s), beautifully packaged.
Selected from the twelve albums Carmen did for Decca, this
collection represents the singer at the beginning of her recording career
singing standards in a straightforward manner with trio or orchestra backing.
"It was during her Decca period that she gained her first major
success and recognition. Thus, for the most part, the Carmen McRae
performances that make up this collection belong to the body of superior
work that finally established her at the top." from liner notes by
Alive! Sony Legacy, 1994.
Reissue of Woman Talk and Live and Wailing (early 1960s).
Free from the constraints of the studio, Carmen is a completely
different singer from the one heard on the Decca albums. Her personality
comes to the fore, demonstrating a style which remained basically
the same for the rest of her career.
The Art of Carmen McRae/For Once in My Life
(late 1960s) Rhino, 2004
Double disc includes The Art of Carmen, a compilation from some
of her Atlantic albums and singles: Live
at the Century Plaza,
The Great American
Songbook, the studio albums, and
Bittersweet (Focus, 1964) and the
complete album For Once in My Life, on which she transforms
"contemporary pop songs into personal expressions of joy and
heartache...While there isn't a whole lot of jazz to be found here, fans of
McRae shouldn't be scared off by the songs or the era, as this is actually
one of the better albums she recorded in the second half of her career."
Tim Sendra, allmusic.com
The Best of Carmen McRae, Blue Note, 1995
Collection from the Blue Note albums (1970s): I Am Music, Can't Hide
Love, Blue Note Meets the L.A.
Philharmonic, At the Great American Music Hall, and Blue Note Live at
Blue Note has compiled eleven excellent songs: "Like a Lover," "I Have
the Feeling I've Been Here Before," "The Man I Love," "Would You Believe,"
"A Child Is Born," "Star Eyes," "Miss Otis Regrets, "Old Folks," "Dindi,"
and "Ain't Nobody Bizness If I Do" -- Carmen at her "best."
Ballad Essentials. Concord, 1999
Collection from the Concord albums. (1980s) Heat Wave,
with Cal Tjader, You're Looking at Me, a tribute to Nat King
Cole; Live at Birdland West, with Red Holloway; and Two
for the Road, a duet with George Shearing.
"demonstrates just how stunning a ballad singer McRae
could be. This is true whether she's joining
Tjader's band on 'Besame Mucho,' saluting
Cole on 'You're Looking at Me,' performing
for the Birdland West audience on 'These Foolish Things,' or doing a
vocals/piano duet with
Shearing on 'More Than You Know,' 'If I
Should Lose You,' and 'I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You.'...enthusiastically recommended to anyone who cherishes intimate, smoky
- Alex Henderson, allmusic.com