“Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread – without it, it’s flat.”
– Carmen McRae
Carmen McRae (April 8, 1920 – November 10, 1994) was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and her ironic interpretations of song lyrics that made her memorable. Carmen McRae drew inspiration from Billie Holiday, but established her own distinctive voice. She went on to record over 60 albums, enjoying a rich musical career, performing and recording in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Carmen McRae had a deep and soulful voice with superb rythmic timing. Her nickname was “the singers singer”.
Below are some very nice live recordings that I hope you will enjoy very much!
Carmen McRae sings with Kenny Clarke & Francy Boland Big Band (June 15, 1969)
00:00 – Introduction in German
01:03 – For Once in My Life (Roland Miller)
04:14 – I Wish I Were in Love Again (Rodgers & Hart)
05:42 – Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday)
10:06 – Volcano (Kenny Clarke)
Francy Boland (p, leader), Kenny Clarke (dr, leader), Benny Bailey (tr), Manfred Schoof (tr), Idrees Sulieman (tr), Jimmy Deuchar (tr), Åke Persson (trb), Nat Peck (trb), Eric van Lier (trb), Derek Humble (as), Tony Coe (ts), Johnny Griffin (ts), Ronnie Scott (ts), Sahib Shihab (bs, fl), Jimmy Woode (b), Kenny Clare (dr) and Carmen McRae (voc)
Carmen McRae Live in Tokyo, Japan, 1986 (full concert)
Carmen Mcrae Live in Montreal, Canada, 1988 (full concert)
Musicians are; Eric Gunnison (p), Scott Colley (b), Mark Pulice (dr) and Clifford Jordan (ts)