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The Betty Carter Album

Betty Carter

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Album Review

Originally put out by singer Betty Carter on her Bet-Car label, this set from her struggling years has since been reissued on CD by Verve. Joined by either Daniel Mixon or Onaje Alan Gumbs on piano, bassist Buster Wiliams and Louis Hayes or Chip Lyles on drums, Betty Carter really digs into the material (the majority of which are her originals), using unusual tempoes (and sometimes quick changes) and coming up with rather spontaneous and sometimes abstract interpretations; "You're a Sweetheart" (which has remained in Carter's repertoire for years) is a highlight.

Biography

Born: 16 May 1930 in Flint, MI

Genre: Jazz

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

Arguably the most adventurous female jazz singer of all time, Betty Carter was an idiosyncratic stylist and a restless improviser who pushed the limits of melody and harmony as much as any bebop horn player. The husky-voiced Carter was capable of radical, off-the-cuff reworkings of whatever she sang, abruptly changing tempos and dynamics, or rearranging the lyrics into distinctive, off-the-beat rhythmic patterns. She could solo for 20 minutes, scat at lightning speed, or drive home an emotion with...
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The Betty Carter Album, Betty Carter
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