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Carmen McRae

Born: April 8, 1920 | Died: November 10, 1994    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Carmen McRae

Considered by jazz aficionados to be among the top ten female vocalists of all time, Carmen McRae's distinctive behind-the-beat phrasing, impeccable vocal control, and witty, sometimes acerbic way of conveying a lyric are what set her apart as a singularly great singer. She considered jazz great Billie Holiday to be a musical mentor. But this Queen of Cool had her own sound and style; including an amazing ability to scat. The versatile McRae could swing hard when it was called for; next she could draw out a ballad, savoring each note and syllable without losing audience attention, she was in a class by herself....
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Source: James Nadal

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Featured recording “Carmen Sings Monk”

Carmen Sings Monk
Novus (1988)

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