Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Shawnn Monteiro: To Carmen with Love

3

Shawnn Monteiro: To Carmen with Love

By

Sign in to view read count
Shawnn Monteiro: To Carmen with Love
Tributes to legendary jazz greats of the past dot the landscape of today's music, but few can actually boast a direct connection to the artist of homage. Singer Shawnn Monteiro—long influenced by the beautiful voice of pianist and vocalist Carmen McRae—is an exception. Her father and godfather, bassist Jimmy Woode and trumpeter Clark Terry, respectively, both performed with McRae, and Monteiro grew up listening to stories of their experiences. With To Carmen with Love, Monteiro pays tribute to a great jazz artist who not only left an indelible mark on the jazz world, but also played an inspirational role in Monteiro's own musical development.

Monteiro and co-producer/pianist Mike Renzi combed through more than thirty McRae albums and found a group of songs that the singer recorded more than once, indicating some special significance. For her homage, Monteiro performs these very same songs, primarily from The Great American Songbook, her hushed and earthy vocals creating a unique interpretation of McRae's preferred standards. With a core trio of Renzi, bassist Dave Zinno and drummer Steve Langone, Monteiro begins the tribute with "Old Devil Moon," scatting and swinging over devilish instrumental accompaniment.

The classic "Yesterdays" and Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You" seem to find an especially sweet place with the singer, who delivers two emotional statements. McRae performed "Old Black Magic," "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "I Have the Feeling I've Been Here Before" often, and here, Monteiro treats these standards more than well. Bobby Troup's "Your Looking At Me" and Melissa Manchester's "Come In From The Rain" are but two of the many soft tunes the singer takes to heart here.

Monteiro continues swinging through the standard repertoire—loose and playful on "Mean To Me," bluesy on "Miss Brown (To You), and sultry on the Kurt Weil/Ogden Nash staple "Speak Low." The vocalist closes the set on the Eden Ahbez's Latin-tinged "Nature Boy," introduced by Zinno and completing a tribute to one of the greatest ladies of jazz. Regardless of theme or special circumstance, To Carmen with Love is one of the better jazz vocal recordings around, and captures a superb performance from the classy Monteiro. Renzi and the trio also deserve mention for their marvelous support, providing the sparkle that helps Monteiro to shine.

Track Listing

Old Devil Moon; Yesterdays; I Concentrate On You; Old Black Magic; You're Looking At Me; Mean To Me; Come In From The Rain; Miss Brown (To You); Speak Low; Nice Work If You Can Get It; I Have The Feeling I've Been Here Before; Nature Boy.

Personnel

Shawnn Monteiro: vocals; Mike Renzi: piano; Dave Zinno: bass; Steve Langone: drums.

Album information

Title: To Carmen with Love | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound


Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

September Night
Tomasz Stanko Quartet
Our Way
Helveticus
Romance of the Moon
Yelena Eckemoff
Panoply
Denny Zeitlin

Popular

For Real!
Hampton Hawes
My Prophet
Oded Tzur
Nimble Digits
Geoff Stradling
Time Again
Koppel, Blade, Koppel

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.