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LRC Jass Classics: Velvet Soul

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Album Review

Recent reissue of early '70s material on the Groove Merchant label. McRae was doing mix of standards, ballads, a little blues, and some originals, and was also experimenting with some soul jazz. These are not as well done as her material on some other labels, but are interesting for showing the mood of a label in the transitional '70s.


Born: April 08, 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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