Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Whatever Happened to Love
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
One of Betty Carter's BEST!
Louis Alemayehu | Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN USA | 11/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to this album again and again I am reminded of how she embodied music. The last time I saw her it was at the Dakota Bar in the Twin Cities. She sang with her whole body working the stage from one end to the other. She would twist, turn, slide, rock, grimmace, and radiant-smile, as the fire sparkled in her eyes.
Betty digested and reimagined the lessons of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae and sounded totally like herself. She was creative as Miles & Bird and extended what the human voice could imagine and do in this improvisatonal art called "Jazz". Toward the end of her life she said some thing to the effect that after her there would be no more jazz singers. The jury is still out on that point, but to my ears the pickings are slim these days. Look to a guy out of England named Cleveland Watkiss. On the homefront, there is Kurt Elling. These are guys with high standards who know the tradition and create with a great sense of adventure.
But concerning this recording, listen to what Betty does with "What a Little Moonlight Can Do". This song was never a great piece of writing, but Billie Holiday,as she often did, took something light-weight and made it worth listening to by giving it substance through the art of life-informed performance.
Betty starts it off as a waltz singing a joyful-erotic "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, What a little moonlight can do". She phrases the lines stretching some vowels and punching out other words with a clipped rhythm. She then shifts gears out of the waltz tempo and sings the chorus again like a swift Miles Davis solo. When Betty scatted it was truly amazing how she could be inventive and interesting over long stretches and hold you, hold you in the experience!
"Cocktails for Two" is done with strings, intimate and caressing. She is the only person I have heard sing this song. I first heard the melody as back-up to schlocky skits on TV. She unfolds the story of this old chestnut evoking memories of a special meeting in a secluded spot,whispers at a corner table as the noise of the traffic seems miles away.
"With No Words" is a swift, wordless improv. Invention all the way, the trio supporting, following, pushing.
New Blues (You Purrrrrrr) one of Betty's self composed slow ballad stories. This one about the end of a love affair. She's is singing but she emotes so much of the meaning of each word usually associated with straight up spokenword interpretation. If you have lived it, you will feel this one deep inside.
"Abre la Puerta", Open the Door is another wordless improv, again she sings with heart and soul of an skilled instrumentalist.
If you love the jazz vocal art form, you should have this in your collection too.