Collectables Records

Carmen McRae Art of Carmen McRae / For Once In My Life (2-CD)

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Format: CD  (2 Discs)
Item:  COL 6836

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CD Details

  • Liner Notes: Gary Theroux
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 2004
  • Label: Collectables Records
  • Original Album: Atlantic 8143 (1967)

Description by OLDIES.com:

Despite an admittedly limited vocal range, Carmen McRae spent more than 50 years as a leading light in the world of jazz. Rarely straying far from her deep roots in jazz, Carmen's scatting and balladry revealed a remarkable range of vivid, powerful emotion. Her "For Once In My Life" LP was recorded April 10-12, 1967 in London with the orchestra of Johnny Keating. The tracks that make up the never-released LP "The Art Of Carmen McRae" were taken from sessions for her other Atlantic albums. Everyone from Herbie Mann and Richard Tee to Eric Gale and yes, Benny Carter, backed her on those LPs. Even former husband Kenny Clarke turned up on one 1970 date.

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.I Only Have Eyes For You
  • 2.Here's That Rainy Day
  • 3.Just A Little Lovin'
  • 4.Didn't We
  • 5.Day By Day
  • 6.There's No Such Thing As Love
  • 7.I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know
  • 8.I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco
  • 9.Here There And Everywhere
  • 10.Loads Of Love
  • 11.My Heart Reminds Me
  • 12.When Sunny Gets Blue
  • 13.Elusive Butterfly
  • 14.I Got It Bad
  • 15.Satin Doll
  • 16.Ballad Of Thelonius Monk
  • 17.Watch What Happens
  • 18.The Meaning Of The Blues
  • 19.Gloomy Monday
  • 20.I'm Gonna Laugh At You
  • 21.Silent Spring
  • 22.Come Sunday

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.For Once In My Life
  • 2.Don't Talk
  • 3.Until It's Time For You To Go
  • 4.Got To Get You Into My Life
  • 5.Our Song
  • 6.Come Live With Me
  • 7.Thr Look Of Love
  • 8.I'ts Not Going That Way
  • 9.I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
  • 10.Worlds of Time
  • 11.Flying
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes

Product Description:

2 LPs on 2 CDs: THE ART OF CARMEN McRAE (1975)/FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE (1967).
Liner Note Author: Gary Theroux.
This 2004 double disc of Carmen McRae released by Collectables continues the label's efforts to chronicle her stay with Atlantic Records from 1967 to 1972. She was near the top of her interpretive powers during this era, turning standards and contemporary pop songs into personal expressions of joy and heartache. Her voice, while not as pure as it had been, is still a thing of wonder, very powerful and always very much her own. The Art of Carmen McRae gathers songs from the two live records she released for Atlantic, Live at the Century Plaza and the incredible The Great American Songbook, as well as the studio albums (excepting For Once in My Life, which makes up the whole of the second disc), singles, and for some reason the Bittersweet album that came out in 1964 on Focus. You could spend time beating your head against the wall wondering why those songs are seemingly thrown in at random or why the liner notes provide very little documentation, but there really is no need -- instead it is a better idea to just enjoy the disc for what it is: a very fine compilation of some of McRae's best work. The second disc (the straight reissue of 1967's For Once in My Life) is much easier to enjoy, as it raises no packaging or song selection issues. The record is made up mostly of contemporary songs by Bacharach/David, Brian Wilson, the Beatles, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, and at first glance one might think that the record is just a callow attempt to jump on the pop bandwagon. One would be wrong to conclude this, because whatever the intentions, the record is a success. With producer Joel Dorn mostly providing restrained and sometimes groovy backings, McRae turns in some wonderful performances. The two Beach Boys songs are heartbreaking; "Don't Talk" is one of the better covers of a Wilson song you are liable to hear. "Come Live With Me" is a swinging number that sounds like something Sammy Davis, Jr. would have torn up around this time. Leiber & Stoller's "Flying" is another light and smooth number that works very well. The only song that falls flat is the Vegas-style take on the Beatles' "Got to Get You into My Life," where Dorn lays on the glitz and McRae sounds tentative. While there isn't a whole lot of jazz to be found here, fans of McRae shouldn't be scared off by the songs or the era, as this is actually one of the better albums she recorded in the second half of her career. Taken together, the two discs are a vital purchase for McRae fans. Perhaps someday someone will release a collection that does a coherent job of organizing her days at Atlantic. Until then, The Art of Carmen McRae/For Once in My Life will have to do. ~ Tim Sendra

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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 11,192
  • UPC: 090431683620
  • Shipping Weight: 0.20/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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