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One for My Baby

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Album Review

Carla Helmbrecht, a new name, starts off her set quite successfully with one of the saddest ballads ever written, Rodgers And Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind." After pulling that one off, the highly appealing singer gradually lightens up the mood with "Mood Indigo" and "Dream a Little Dream of Me" before successfully plunging into "Love for Sale," a song with Cole Porter lyrics that still sounds modern and a touch scary today. Helmbrecht does not improvise all that much and her scatting is mostly worked out in advance but her expressive powers are quite high and she is at her best on ballads. Her octet includes pianist Frank Mantooth, Kim Richmond on alto and clarinet, trumpeter Clay Jenkins and trombonist Chris Seiter; they all get opportunites to solo. Helmbrecht closes down her memorable program with a funky version of "Moonlight in Vermont" and a salsified "Fly Me to the Moon."


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A talented jazz singer who reshapes standards in subtle ways, Carla Helmbrecht is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She remembers telling a friend when she was five that she was going to be a singer someday. Helmbrecht started playing piano when she was eight and was singing professionally at weddings by the time she was 12. She performed on oboe for six years in school concert bands, and became interested in jazz as a teenager. She made four privately recorded songs on 45s when she was 18. Helmbrecht...
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One for My Baby, Carla Helmbrecht
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