Carmen McRae – Sings Lover Man And Other Billie Holiday Classics (180g LP)


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Carmen McRae


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In this stunning LP, Carmen McRae pays homage to her friend and idol, Billie Holiday.

With her strong alto, huge range, and ability to change moods, McRae varies her sound throughout, sometimes sounding deliberately gravelly, then switching to softly sweet and romantic, matching the timbre of the instruments accompanying her. She alternates her tempo from slow and dramatic to lively, jazzy, flirty, or intimate. Always, she and the musicians accompanying her are in perfect sync, both in interpreting the lyrics and improvising with the melodies.

Every song is a winner. “Them There Eyes,” begins with McRae singing off-rhythm, accompanied by a simple bass (Bob Cranshaw) and drums (Walter Perkins) before the sax (Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis) enters. “I’m Gonna Lock My Heart,” is the happiest, with McRae hitting some surprising high notes. “Miss Brown to You,” swings in a loose, flirty manner, and “I Cried for You” features McRae sounding like a muted trumpet and wailing. “Lover Man” is wonderfully bluesy, with a toe-tapping rhythm and improvisation, while “A Little Moonlight,” with great piano (Norman Simmons), sax (Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis) and trumpet (Nat Adderley) solos, is wild and impassioned.

“Yesterdays,”…begins as a slow, harshly melancholy song with sensitive piano background, then suddenly pauses slightly in the middle, and shifts to a faster, jazzier, more rhythmic line in which McRae is up and down and all over the scale. “Strange Fruit,” one of Holiday’s signature songs, is finely articulated, and McRae’s phrasing and ironically sweet tones give even more emphasis to the horrifying lyrics as Mundell Lowe’s guitar provides the mournful accompaniment. “God Bless the Child,” written by Holiday, is slow and intimate, and as McRae phrases the story, her wailing adds poignancy to the lyrics.

ID: Pure Pleasure Records – PPAN CS8530, Columbia – CS 8530

SKU: 5060149622667 Category:

Bob Cranshaw


Nat Adderley


Walter Perkins


Mundell Lowe


Henry Parker

Photography By

Norman Simmons

Piano, Arranged By

Teo Macero


Ralph J. Gleason

Sleeve Notes

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

Tenor Saxophone

Carmen McRae


A1Them There Eyes2:44
A3I'm Gonna Lock My Heart2:31
A4Strange Fruit2:47
A5Miss Brown To You2:28
A6My Man4:05
B1I Cried For You2:52
B2Lover Man4:19
B3Trav'Lin' Light2:20
B4Some Other Spring3:02
B5What A Little Moonlight Can Do3:31
B6God Bless The Child3:25

Carmen McRae


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