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Carmen McRae's Finest Hour

Carmen McRae

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Album Review

An in-depth 19-track overview of the career of jazz vocalist Carmen McRae, demonstrating her bebop-influenced vocal styling ranging from blues ballads to fluid bop scat. Part of the Verve Finest Hour series, this well-presented album is a fine introduction to the artist at an affordable price.

Biography

Born: April 8, 1920 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Carmen McRae always had a nice voice (if not on the impossible level of an Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan) 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. McRae married and divorced Kenny Clarke in the '40s, worked with Count Basie (briefly) and Mercer Ellington...
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Carmen McRae's Finest Hour, Carmen McRae
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