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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 in Denver in 1996) is everything jazz singing should be personal, individualistic, improvisatory, spontaneous. White's tasteful backing on this disc includes pianist Mark Soskin, guitarist Jerry Hahn, bassist Harvie Swartz and drummer Joe LaBarbera.
Only two of White's albums are in print right now, the other being the superb Listen Here on Evidence. Both CDs are highly recommended.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.