July 13, 2024


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CD review: Carmen McRae – Diva Of Jazz: New York State Of Mind 2018: Video

12 original recordings from the jazz diva Carmen McRae, spanning her career. This Greatest Hits collection includes Come In From the Rain and New York State of Mind.

Carmen McRae was an American jazz singer. She is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century and is remembered for her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretation of lyrics. McRae was inspired by Billie Holiday, but she established her own voice. She recorded over sixty albums and performed worldwide.

Carmen McRae always had a nice voice but it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and ironic interpretations of lyrics that made her most memorable. She studied piano early on and had her first important job singing with Benny Carter’s big band (1944), but it would be another decade before her career had really gained much momentum.

In 1954 she began to record as a leader’ and by then she had absorbed the influences of Billie Holiday and bebop into her own style. McRae would record pretty steadily up to 1989 and, although her voice was higher in the ’50s and her phrasing would be even more laid-back in later years, her general style and approach did not change much through the decades.

Championed in the ’50s by Ralph Gleason, McRae was fairly popular throughout her career. Among her most interesting recording projects were participating in Dave Brubeck’s the Real Ambassadors with Louis Armstrong, cutting an album of live duets with Betty Carter, being accompanied by Dave Brubeck and George Shearing, and closing her career with brilliant tributes to Thelonious Monk and Sarah Vaughan.

  1. Burst In With The Dawn
  2. I Need You In My Life
  3. Come In From The Rain
  4. I Won’t Last A Day Without You
  5. Won’tcha Stay With Me
  6. Mr. Magic
  7. Everything Must Change
  8. Sweet Alibis
  9. (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade is Over
  10. I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love
  11. I’m Coming Home Again
  12. New York State of Mind

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