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Carter Calvert: It's A Man's World

Geannine Reid By

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Sophistication, sultry and a powerhouse—though these words are often used in description of jazz vocalists, in this case it is actually true. Carter Calvert spots a six octave voice that is well-rounded, precisely tuned, and can grit and shine with the best of them. Carter is not a newbie by any sense of the word. Calvert has been touring the globe performing to sold-out audiences, garnering critical acclaim for her extraordinary talent. She has performed as a headliner internationally in South Africa, Greece, Bermuda, Croatia and Italy. An ever-evolving artist, Calvert's latest project is a collaboration with two household names in jazz: Grammy® award-winning Ulysses Owens, Jr. (Producer/Drums), and Grammy® award-winning Laurence Hobgood (Arranger/Piano), renowned for their imagination and artistry. The end result is a collection of hits originally made famous by iconic male artists, re-imagined and sung from a woman's point of view. It's A Man's World gives Calvert a vehicle to shine and like a spotlight beacon she does.

From the first track, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," Carter's display of vocal control and her ability to squeeze every ounce of emotion from the melodic line is evident. Her slow controlled glissando into notes gives the track the perfect blues overtone. Her voice is big and warm and sits perfectly over the amazing rhythm section of Owens and Marco Panascia, creating a groove that is perfect for this reimagined James Brown song. Hobgood's arrangement is fresh and full of harmonic twist, the group hits and figures confirms his ability to reimagine a song in a way that retains the original melodic flow, but takes the music and takes the listener for a colorful journey through creative rhythms and harmonic landscapes. Joel Frahm categorically adds a lot of energy to the selection and equals Calvert's passion and clarity of line. An excellent selection.

"Every Little Thing (He) Does is Magic" is another amazing arrangement that finds Calvert's voice conveying an emotionally and technically brilliant interpretation of the melody. Perhaps more than ever, hearing her sing such well-known melodies the listener can really savor her ornamentations and unique phrasing abilities, all done with control and spot on pitch. Again, Frahm is the perfect counterpoint to Calvert's voice. The rhythmic setting of a six-eight undercurrent is a nice setting that Calvert conveys with confidence. Again, another well-crafted Hobgood arrangement.

A tender bossa version of "Don't Let Me Lonely Tonight" finds Calvert's warm voice ornamenting this classic melody in ways that brings joy to the heart. David Rosenthal's acoustic guitar is a nice touch and Joshua Bowlus' piano playing and arrangement skills are in full sonic glory on this selection. Calvert's storytelling capabilities are a rare gem and her aptitude to add just the right amount of vocal inflection and rhythmic nuance emphases in just the right places and this is a key element that sets her above the crowded vocal crowd.

"Love, Reign O'er Me" is another fine arrangement from Bowlus. Owens' drum colors and feel is infectious, his joy for playing comes through on every head and cymbal hit. Rosenthal's distorted guitar solo is full of energy and fits the setting perfectly. Calvert expands on the wide ranging melody in a way that breathes new life into this rock classic. However, the selection is all modern jazz and all the wonderful things that it has evolved to be, energetic, technically brilliant, rhythmically diverse and harmonically evolving and creatively colored.

All in all, It's A Man's World is a brilliant follow up CD; and proof positive that great producers behind the wheel can reach limitless success with a powerfully compelling vocalist like Carter Calvert.

Track Listing: It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World; I’m In the Mood; Every Little Thing (He) Does Is Magic; I’m On Fire; Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing; Take Me to the Pilot; Hurt; Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight; Can I Stay; Hallelujah, I Love (Him) So; Can You Be True?; Love, Reign O’er Me; Let It Be.

Personnel: Joshua Bowlus: piano and arrangements; Ben Williams: bass; Ulysses Owens Jr: drums; Daniel Dickinson: alto sax; Alphonso Horne: trumpet; Eric Miller: trombone; David Rosenthal: guitar. Joel Frahm: tenor, soprano sax; Laurence Hobgood: piano and arrangements; Marco Panascia: bass; Damon Mack: B3 Hammond organ.

Title: It's A Man's World | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Sound On Purpose Records


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