During the period when jazz had reached a popular appeal unlike anything seen before or since, the idea of a woman vocalist fronting a big band was a fashionable and alluring notion. It was the swing era and such names as Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, and countless others came up through the ranks, first getting their starts as an adjunct to the dance bands. That kind of experience no longer exists for today's jazz vocalist, yet there has been somewhat of a resurgence in the idea of the chanteuse, with Diana Krall leading the pack. Even with seven albums as a leader under her belt, Carla White has no way near the name recognition of Krall, yet that situation might change for the better if The Sweetest Sounds gets the kind of recognition and plaudits that it should.
To say that White's vocal personality is a bit rarefied is to put it mildly. Her scope of feeling is wide, often speaking the lyrics in a hushed breath with a full vibrato available to support more dramatic moments. It's a sensuous "rap" that marks a very atypical "Love For Sale," while some great scatting effects give "Day In, Day Out" and "This Can't Be Love" facelifts of attractive proportions. A surefire New York piano trio headed by Peter Madsen is at White's beck and call, with tenor saxophone great Lew Tabackin providing a few lavish solos to boot. White's own "But I Was Wrong" augments eleven substantial cuts. Loose and spontaneous, but solidly together, this is great vocal jazz that is deserving of a wider audience.
Track Listing: Midnight Sun, This Can't Be Love, It's Easy To Remember, But I Was Wrong, Alone Together, Two Lost Souls, Love For Sale, I Didn't Know About You, Day In-Day Out, Bittersweet, The Sweetest Sounds
Personnel: Carla White (vocals), Peter Madsen (piano), Dean Johnson (bass), Tom Rainey (drums), Lew Tabackin (tenor saxophone), Steve Berrios (percussion)
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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