All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

221

Carmen McRae: Ballad Essentials

By

Sign in to view read count
Carmen McRae has always been one of my favourite singers. Technically, she couldn’t match the vocal gymnastics of Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan, but her timing and delivery were impeccable. Ballad Essentials is a fine compilation drawn from four albums Carmen recorded for Concord in the 80s — Fine And Mellow - Live At Birdland West, Heat Wave, Two For The Road and You're Lookin' At Me. Ballad singing was always Carmen’s strong suit — her behind-the-beat phrasing, cynical outlook and world-weary voice could put a fresh spin on the sappiest of love songs. She delivers such classics as These Foolish Things Remind Me of You, I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance, More Than You Know, It Will Have To Do (Until the Real Thing Comes Along) and If I Should Lose You without a trace of false sentimentality. Pianist George Shearing, Jack McDuff (Hammond B3), Cal Tjader (vibes) and Red Holloway (tenor) are a few of the musicians that provide support at various times. A good place to start for those unfamiliar with Carmen McRae. I would also highly recommend The Great American Songbook [live] (Atlantic). Classy stuff from a classy lady. (###)

Title: Ballad Essentials | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Minor Step" CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Riser" CD/LP/Track Review Riser
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Music in the Room" CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read "Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone" CD/LP/Track Review Sopranoville: New Works for the Prepared and Non-Prepared...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 18, 2017