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Carmen McRae

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Considered by jazz aficionados to be among the top ten female vocalists of all time, Carmen McRae's distinctive behind-the-beat phrasing, impeccable vocal control, and witty, sometimes acerbic way of conveying a lyric are what set her apart as a singularly great singer. She considered jazz great Billie Holiday to be a musical mentor. But this Queen of Cool had her own sound and style; including an amazing ability to scat. The versatile McRae could swing hard when it was called for; next she could draw out a ballad, savoring each note and syllable without losing audience attention, she was in a class by herself. McRae was fortunate enough to have been raised by a family prosperous enough to afford a piano and lessons

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Article: Extended Analysis

The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66

Read "The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66" reviewed by Skip Heller


Louis Armstrong officially returned to small band leadership May 17, 1947 via a triumphant concert at Town Hall that was less comeback than reaffirmation. It was even the dawn of his second great period, full of recordings that stood tall with his epochal 1920's output, and the subsequently-assembled Louis Armstrong and his All Stars would immediately ...

12

Article: Album Review

Arturo O'Farrill: Virtual Birdland

Read "Virtual Birdland" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Whenever an obstacle presents itself--even one as devastating and disruptive as a global pandemic--it's a sure bet that musicians will find a way around it, a way to keep making music even in the most grievous circumstances. Jazz musicians have been especially creative during the Covid-19 scourge, using social media, the internet and any other means ...

5

Article: Interview

Samara Joy: Ascension Into Jazz

Read "Samara Joy: Ascension Into Jazz" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


When Samara Joy performs, she takes her place, stands confidently and sings. Immediately the strength and richness of her voice—which is natural—grabs the attention of the listener. There are no gyrations. It's refreshing that a young artist doesn't see the need for unnecessary vocal gymnastics. Too often, those can miss the mark. Her style ...

3

Article: Radio

April In My Heart: Celebrating Spring With Carmen McRae and Billie Holiday

Read "April In My Heart: Celebrating Spring With Carmen McRae and Billie Holiday" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Midway through Jazz Appreciation Month, this broadcast continues the Spring celebration with songs of April plus birthday shoutouts to Carmen McRae, Freddie Hubbard, Dorothy Donegan, Andre Previn, Marilyn Maye and Billie Holiday, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music during this time of lockdown. Playlist ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Carmen McRae

Jazz Musician of the Day: Carmen McRae

All About Jazz is celebrating Carmen McRae's birthday today! Considered by jazz aficionados to be among the top ten female vocalists of all time, Carmen McRae's distinctive behind-the-beat phrasing, impeccable vocal control, and witty, sometimes acerbic way of conveying a lyric are what set her apart as a singularly great singer. She considered jazz great Billie ...

Article: Interview

Mario Biondi: Voce di un'anima soul

Read "Mario Biondi: Voce di un'anima soul" reviewed by Paolo Marra


Con la sua voce calda, pregna di pathos e raffinati slanci timbrici, Mario Biondi si muove al confine tra soul e jazz seguendo con una cifra personale le tracce dei grandi cantanti della tradizione della musica nera. Con il nuovo disco, Dare, il crooner italiano ha voluto riassumere le sue diverse attitudini artistiche riunendo attorno a ...

19

Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

1

Article: Radio

Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro

Read "Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


In astrology, October 18 zodiac people are on the Libra-Scorpio cusp, referred to as the Cusp of Drama. Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro share that birthday, which would certainly make for a dramatic dinner party. Besides shoutouts to this dynamic trio, vocalist Lee Wiley and pianist Thelonious Monk are celebrated as well. The broadcast ...

2

Article: Album Review

Susie Meissner: I Wish I Knew

Read "I Wish I Knew" reviewed by Jack Bowers


I wish I knew why the talented Philadelphia-based singer Susie Meissner chose to open her salute to the Great American Songbook with the only tune on the album that doesn't really qualify: Curtis Lewis' “The Great City." It's not a bad song but Cole Porter or Johnny Mandel it ain't. On the bright side, Meissner recovers ...


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