Carline Ray: Vocal Sides (2013)
Produced by her singer/daughter Catherine Russell, Vocal Sides exposes Ray to a variety of formats to react against. She sings a recital that spans jazz time, that is, across time, styles, periods, the whole of the music's history. Ray vocally arranged the Hammerstein/Romberg "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" to reflect influences from Mahalia Jackson and deep gospel from the '30s to Sarah Vaughan and high jazz in the '60s. She divides the song in two between the singers separated by a Miles Davis "Walkin'" piano vamp that gently swings in that late '40s way that made Frank Sinatra so famous.
The pairing of Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" and the standard "Back Home in Indiana" is as inspired as is Ray's singing, attacking be bop at its core and laying waste to it. Ray covers two Mary Lou Williams spiritual pieces: a bluesy "Lazarus," propelled by Gregg Skaff's staccato guitar figure and a darkly hued "Our Father." Ray duets with daughter Catherine Russell on and bouncy gospel "Land Beyond the River" and "Hold On." Thad Jones' "A Child is Born" is a highlight, as well as, Ray's husband, Luis Russell's rollicking "Lucille." Vocal Sides is a masterful achievement.
Track Listing: When I Grow Too Old to Dream; Donna Lee / Back Home Again in Indiana; Somewhere; Lazarus; Our Father; Land Beyond the River Come Sunday; Hold On; A Child Is Born; Without a Song; Lucille.
Personnel: Carline Ray: vocals, vocal arrangement (1); Catherine Russell: vocals (6, 8); Yuka Aikawa: piano (1, 2, 3, 5,10); Mark Shane: piano (6); Atsundo Aikawa: bass (1, 2, 3, 5,10); Greg Skaff: guitar (4, 7, 9); Mark McLean: drums (1, 2, 10) Akua Dixon: cello (7,9); Frank Anderson: organ (11).
Record Label: Self Produced