Born: March 5, 1937 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Carol Sloane was born to Claudia and Frank Morvan on March 5, 1937, in Providence, Rhode Island, the older of two daughters, but she never lived in that city. Instead, she spent her happy childhood in the small town of Smithfield, just a few short miles north of the city. Her parents worked steadily through the years of World War II in the textile mill near their home.
Carol was the lucky member of a large family of cousins, aunts and uncles who all possessed natural singing voices. Only one uncle ever received formal musical education, and he played the tenor sax. Carol and Ed DrewIn 1951, her Uncle Joe arranged an audition for her with a society dance band led by Ed Drew, and she began singing the stock arrangements of popular hits of the day each Wednesday and Saturday night at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet Ballroom, located in Cranston, Rhode Island....
Awards:2006 BackStage Bistro Award for Outstanding Achievement, Major Jazz Engagment; 2008 NightLife Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, Major Jazz Engagement
The Washington Post, December 25, 2007
Jazz singer Carol Sloane has been perennially underappreciated during her long, uncompromising career. She sings with a rare maturity and grace and has dozens of excellent recordings, yet she is little known outside a small circle of admirers.
Sloane has often recorded the music of Duke Ellington, including a full album in 1999 (Romantic Ellington), but her most recent effort reaches a deeper, more profound level. There are several up-tempo exceptions, but most of the 12 tracks on Dearest Duke are ballads that produce a delicate sense of intimacy. Sloane is supported only by Brad Hatfield's understated piano and the gentle fills of Ken Peplowski's clarinet and tenor saxophone. She doesn't scat a single note, yet her nuanced shifts in tempo and harmony -- not to mention her sultry, smoky voice -- possess the unmistakable feeling of jazz.
Sloane brings an almost literary sense of interpretation to a song's lyrics and can make a subtle vocal quaver in I've Got It Bad and That Ain't Good convey a plaintive undercurrent of pain. Her poignant phrasing and inflections in Solitude and I Didn't Know About You draw on such a deep well of experience that we don't hear the words so much as feel them.
At every turn in these familiar tunes, she discovers new colors and seams of meaning that we didn't know were there. This is the finest vocal album I've heard all year, and if Carol Sloane isn't America's greatest living jazz singer, then no one deserves the title. -- Matt Schudel
The New Yorker, January 14, 2008:
Carol Sloane, “Dearest Duke” (Arbors)There’s no place for Sloane to hide on this intimate set, and that works out just fine for this underrated veteran singer. Accompanied only by piano and Ken Peplowski’s clarinet and saxophone, Sloane glides over imperishable Ellington ballads, treating each with the blend of delicacy and solidity that only a skilled vocalist can conjure. It’s minimalist magic.