Sadly, this is only the eighth album by jazz vocalist Carla White in the past 23 years, and her first in six. Long-acclaimed for her style and voice by colleagues and fans, White has indeed created a minor masterpiece in A Voice In The Night which will hopefully rectify the situation.
Originally from Oakland, California and raised in Bellport, Long Island, White travelled to London, where she attended the prestigious Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Back in New York in the early 1970s, she studied under pianist Lennie Tristano for four years, and upon his death in 1978, she continued ...read more
Carla White has been a staple of vocal jazz for almost 20 years. Yet it's the same old story. No matter how talented - - and she is high on the talent list - - White has had trouble getting her art put to disk. She had to go to Mexico for her last CD. Now this one is issued by a Japanese company. Half of the liner notes on my copy are in Japanese. It was recorded in 1996 but not released until last year! I guess we should be grateful someone has the smarts to record White, irrespective ...read more
During the period when jazz had reached a popular appeal unlike anything seen before or since, the idea of a woman vocalist fronting a big band was a fashionable and alluring notion. It was the swing era and such names as Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, and countless others came up through the ranks, first getting their starts as an adjunct to the dance bands. That kind of experience no longer exists for today's jazz vocalist, yet there has been somewhat of a resurgence in the idea of the chanteuse, with Diana Krall leading the pack. Even ...read more
Her breathy alto voice sets up a romantic scene for this session of standards. Carla White creates a particularly impressive scene every time she scat sings her way through one of these favorite tunes. Alongside Lew Tabackin, Dean Johnson and Peter Madsen, she's the agile instrumentalist, weaving her voice among their assertive lines. Straight-ahead jazz is timeless. With her ensemble trading fours and interacting seamlessly, White basks in the freedom to be herself.
Not quite as effective on slow, steamy, cabaret-styled ballads, the singer chooses to cast pitch accuracy to the four winds. Pop and R&B, as well, place the ...read more
Carla White's husky, swinging vocal style gets great backing and a justly enthusiastic audience at Denver's Vartan Jazz club on her fifth release, a performance of standards. Less deliberately arranged than her acclaimedListen Here, this set has a vitality that comes from the performers having a good night and giving it out.
White's voice reminds me of the rich velvet sound from the great 1930's tenor players, and she even shares Ben Webster's fondness for flat intonation. Her relaxed rhythmic feel, dynamic range down to the whisper, and sensitivity to the lyrics are perfect for her repertoire. She floats over ...read more
Carla White is one of the most richly expressive jazz singers of the 1990s, but regrettably, the New York resident hasn't been recorded nearly as often as she deserves to be. The gaps between her albums have been much too long, and it's ridiculous that a label hasn't been recording her exhaustively. That fact makes the release of Live At Vartan Jazz cause for celebration. From evocative, noir-ish ballad singing on The End Of A Love Affair," As Life Goes On" and My Reverie" to inventive scatting on Charlie Parker's Bloomdido" and That's It," this fine CD (which was recorded ...read more