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Betty Carter's Finest Hour

Betty Carter

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Album Review

This collection of Betty Carter's Verve material may not literally be her finest hour of recorded music, but it is easily her finest hour of recordings for the labels associated with Verve, which include not only her later Verve recordings, but also those on ABC from the early 1960s. There are 14 cuts on the set, including such well-known Carter performances as "In the Still of the Night," her theme, "Open the Door" "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Dropping Things," "Tight," "You're Driving Me Crazy," and others. This is a solid selection of Carter's artistry. It's true that she recorded for so many labels that a complete introduction is almost impossible, but this will serve both fans and beginners well.

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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Betty Carter's Finest Hour, Betty Carter
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