Carmen McRae - Live at Bubba's

Carmen McRae - Live at Bubba's
Styles: Standards, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz
Recording Location: Bubba's Jazz Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL
Genre: Vocal
Recording Date: January 17, 1981
Album: Live at Bubba's
Release Date: January 17, 1981
Artist: Carmen McRae
Duration: 45:25

On this CD, Carmen McRae is featured in a live set recorded in 1981 at Bubba's, a Ft. Lauderdale nightclub. Accompanied by a very compatible trio, including Marshall Otwell (her regular pianist of the time), bassist Jim Andron, and drummer Mark Pulice, McRae is in good form as she mixes timeless standards and a few pop songs of the day. Her vocals are confident and seem effortless, revisiting old friends such as "That Old Black Magic," a Latin-flavored "I Concentrate on You," a rapid-fire "Thou Swell," a miniature "If I Were a Bell," and an extended interpretation of the tender ballad "My Foolish Heart." Among the newer songs, McRae savors "I Just Can't Wait to See You" (a ballad especially written for her by Mark Franklin) and captures the bittersweet air of "Send in the Clowns" rather well though the arrangement is a bit over dramatic; however, Michael Franks' lightweight "Underneath the Apple Tree" doesn't stand up to the rest of the songs at all. The sound is excellent, with a respectfully quiet audience. Two things are a bit frustrating about this CD, typical problems present on many Who's Who in Jazz releases: there are no liner notes or credits for the musicians, and many of the tracks sound as if they were recorded at the close of individual sets, disrupting the continuity and making one wonder if it was recorded over the course of several evenings rather than just one. In any case, fans of McRae will want to pick this up.

That Old Black Magic / Harold Arlen / Johnny MercerCarmen McRae3:47
Superwoman / Stevie WonderCarmen McRae4:11
I Concentrate on You / Cole PorterCarmen McRae4:44
New York State of Mind / Billy JoelCarmen McRae5:24
Underneath the Apple Tree / Michael FranksCarmen McRae4:16
Thou Swell / Lorenz Hart / Richard RodgersCarmen McRae1:17
Send in the Clowns / Stephen SondheimCarmen McRae4:43
I Just Can't Wait to See You / Mark FranklinCarmen McRae5:17
How Long Has This Been Going On? / George Gershwin / Ira GershwinCarmen McRae4:45
If I Were a Bell / Frank LoesserCarmen McRae1:45
My Foolish Heart / Ned Washington / Victor YoungCarmen McRae7:14
Secret Love / Sammy Fain / Paul Francis WebsterCarmen McRae4:10

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