McRae, Bird @ 100, Newk & More

Marc Cohn By

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This week we celebrate the centennial of singer Carmen McRae with three selections from her stupendous 1961 recording, Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man. We put on our 'professor's hat' and do a compare and contrast with primarily Billie Holiday on each tune and guest appearances from Dianne Reeves and Shirley Horn. Fascinating to hear how each singer uses rhythm and phrasing to put a unique stamp on these tunes. Oh, and also the first recording of "Them There Eyes" from the Gus Arnheim Cocoanut Grove Orchestra (with Bing Crosby in the vocal group), which—by the way-was a 'hit' in 1931. Go figure. We also celebrate the Charlie Parker centennial and have another chapter in our chronological Sonny Rollins retrospective. Along the way the new Lynne Arriale session, Geof Bradfield, Trane at the Vanguard with Eric, Yasushi Nakamura, Jackie McLean, Keith Jarrett and John Surman. It's a whole lotta music that's worth your time. So, hit that play button and enjoy!


  • Lynne Arriale "Journey" from Chimes of Freedom (Challenge) 00:00
  • Geof Bradfield "Before This Time Another Year" from Our Roots (Origin) 05:04
  • John Coltrane "India" from Complete Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse) 12:14
  • Yasushi Nakamura "FRB" from Hometown (self-produced) 22:45
  • Sonny Rollins "Kids Know" from Rollins Plays for Bird (Prestige) 28:46
  • Sonny Rollins "The House I Live In" from Sonny Boy (Prestige) 41:29
  • Charlie Parker "Bird Gets The Worm" from Complete Savoy Studio Sessions (Savoy) 50:45
  • Charlie Parker "Cheryl" from Complete Savoy Studio Sessions (Savoy) 54:47
  • Carmen McRae "Them There Eyes" from Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man (Columbia) 57:55
  • Billie Holiday "Them There Eyes" from Lady Day (Columbia) 1:01:37
  • Gus Arnheim & His Cocoanut Grove Orchestra "Them There Eyes" from 78 rpm single (RCA Victor) 1:04:16
  • Carmen McRae "Trav'lin' Light" from Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man (Columbia) 1:07:59
  • Billie Holiday "Trav'lin' Light" from Billie's Blues (Blue Note) 1:11:13
  • Shirley Horn "Trav'lin' Light" from Trav'lin' Light (Impulse) 1:14:34
  • Carmen McRae "Some Other Spring" from Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man (Columbia) 1:17:14
  • Dianne Reeves "Some Other Spring" from The Grand Encounter (Blue Note) 1:21:30
  • Billie Holiday "Some Other Spring" from Lady Day (Columbia) 1:26:43
  • Jackie McLean "Plight" from Action (Blue Note) 1:29:43
  • Keith Jarrett "How Long Has This Been Going On" from At the Blue Note, Complete (ECM) 1:38:23
  • John Surman "Concentric Circles" from Invisbile Threads (ECM) 1:47:25

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