Carmen McRae – The Diva Series (2003)

Carmen McRae - The Diva Series (2003)
Artist: Carmen McRae
Album: The Diva Series
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Label: Verve Records
Released: 2003
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
Falling In Love With You (2:13)
I Only Have Eyes For You (3:50)
Speak Low (3:10)
Midnight Sun (4:16)
I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket (2:25)
How Little We Know (2:31)
Skylark (3:03)
My Man’s Gone Now (4:16)
Comes Love (2:46)
All The Things You Are (2:26)
Ain’t Misbehavin’ (3:19)
Do You Know Why? (2:54)
Bye Bye Blackbird (3:28)
Any Old Time (3:10)
That Old Devil Moon (3:45)
I’m Glad There Is You (3:54)

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If you are making a shortlist of the best jazz singers, Carmen McRae had better be right at the top. She had a distinctive voice, able to do heartbreaking and lighthearted equally as thrillingly. She had an unerring sense of melody and her phrasing is a thing of beauty. This collection covers her work in the mid-’50s for Decca both with small groups and larger orchestras. She shines on swinging tracks like “Comes Love,” “Falling in Love With Love,” and “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket” and won’t leave a dry eye in the house with her deeply emotional ballad singing. “Do You Know Why,” “Midnight Sun,” and the achingly beautiful “I’m Glad There Is You” are prime examples of McRae’s way with a ballad. Each of the 16 tracks here is like a primer on how to be a vocalist, jazz or otherwise. McRae’s entry in Verve’s Diva Series is a fine introduction to her 1950s recordings.
Review by Tim Sendra

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