Personnel includes: Carmen McRae (vocals); Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Ben Webster, Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Dick Katz, Ray Bryant (piano).
Producers: Tom Bradshaw, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae.
Compilation producer: Bryan Koniarz.
Recorded between 1955 & 1987. Includes liner notes by Will Friedwald.
This is part of Verve's Diva Series.
Personnel: Mundell Lowe (guitar); Bill Green , Harry Klee (flute); Mahlon Clark, Justin Gordon (bass clarinet); Vinnie Dean, Porter Kilbert, Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone); Sol Schlinger (baritone saxophone); Richard Gene Williams , Lennie Johnson, Ernie Royal, Al Stewart, Irvin "Marky" Markowitz, Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Tony Miranda, Dick Berg, Fred Klein, Donald Corrado (French horn); Mickey Gravine, Jimmy Cleveland, Billy Byers (trombone); Paul Faulise (bass trombone); John Towner Williams, Joe Marino (piano, celesta); Don Abney, Dick Katz, Eric Gunnison, Ray Bryant (piano); Frank Emilio Flynn (vibraphone, marimba); Larry Bunker (vibraphone); Floyd Williams, Todd Sommer, Winard Harper, Specs Wright (drums).
Liner Note Author: Will Friedwald.
Illustrator: Gary Kelley.
Photographer: Chuck Stewart.
Arrangers: Fred Katz; Wilkins; Frank Hunter.
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. ~ Tim Sendra