Born: October 19, 1945 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Carol Kidd MBE
Carol Kidd is acknowledged in jazz circles as ‘Britain's finest ballads singer' Jazz Review. She has secured the Best Vocalist title at the British Jazz Awards on four separate occasions and, in 1998, received the MBE from the Queen for Services to Jazz.
Over a 25 year period, she has released seven studio albums and a ‘Best of...' compilation for Linn Records. In 2008, she has returned to the recording arena, following a seven year hiatus, with Dreamsville (AKD 325)- an exquisite album of hand-picked standards and self-penned songs which was ‘Recommended Release' on BBC Radio 2 (Russell Davies Show).
Kidd is renowned for her impeccable phrasing and delivery along with an innate ability to breathe fresh life into jazz standards. Dreamsville places a great singer, at the top of her form, back where she belongs - in the upper echelons of world class vocal jazz. Throughout her career, Kidd has cut a distinctive path through the Great American Songbook with orchestral and quartet backing.
She is a singer who is admired by contemporaries and fans alike, who enjoys popularity in the Far East and has performed regularly in China and Singapore for over the course of three decades. Indeed, in 1994 she was the first western artist to be invited by the Chinese Government to perform there in 25 years.
Originally based in Glasgow, Carol Kidd began singing professionally at the age of 15 when she joined the West Coast Jazz Band. During a five year period she met, and married, their trombonist George Kidd, who is a formidable name in Scottish jazz circles. The band appeared along with many well known names such as Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and the Alex Welsh band, and also made guest appearances on local radio.
During the 1970s a musical association with the pianist Sandy Taylor developed. Along with drummer Murray Smith and bassist Alex Moore the trio remained the mainstay of her backing for many years.
Kidd's self-titled Linn Records debut album was released in 1984 and it marked the beginning of a long and valued relationship which has helped establish her across the globe.
Her signature song, ‘When I Dream', was the theme in Korean movie Shiri and it held a chart placing in Asia for some thirteen weeks. This led her to ‘superstar' status in a part of the world where she now regularly performs to sell-out audiences. She has also performed for the Cambodian Royal Family. Further Royal approval is confirmed in the shape of Prince Charles who is a proud owner of all her albums!
A long line of admirers included Frank Sinatra, who invited her to open for him at a concert at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. During his performance he commented, ‘Carol Kidd is the best kept secret of British jazz.' This endorsement from Ol' Blue Eyes gave Kidd the confidence to truly make singing her career.
Almost immediately she was invited to appear at the internationally acclaimed Ronnie Scott's Club in London. Tony Bennett was singing in London at the time and he made a point of coming to hear her stating, ‘You are world class, where have you been?'. Later, she went on to record ‘A Place in My Heart' with one of Sinatra's favourite arrangers, the late Robert Farnon.
The late Sir Humphrey Lyttelton was also a fan from early on, commenting on her first album saying, ‘If this her debut, it's fantastic.' Earlier, Annie Ross had invited Kidd to appear on her TV show, stating, ‘I love this woman's voice.'
George Shearing, Georgie Fame, Annie Ross, Benny Carter, Joe Temperley, Bobby Watson and Martin Taylor MBE are among the many guest luminaries who have performed with Carol Kidd during her live concerts.
Awards:Four times winner - Best Vocalist, British Jazz Awards Best Album - "Dreamsville", Scottish Jazz Awards 2009 Best Album - "The Night We Called it a Day", British Jazz Awards Best International Vocalist, Cannes International Jazz Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007 Nordoff Robbins 1998 - MBE for Services to Jazz
One of the best singers I have heard Ronnie Scott
Carol Kidd is the best kept secret of British jazz Frank Sinatra
Her control is thrilling....she is world class Cleo Laine
Her discography stands up as one of the strongest ever British contributions to vocal jazz Jazz Review