Betty Carter
(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
The Modern Sound (1960), 7/10
Album (1973), 7/10
The Audience (1979), 7/10

Spectacular Detroit-born vocalist Lillie-Mae "Betty Carter" Jones (1930) did more than simply use the voice as an instrument: she used the voice as "the" instrument. The Modern Sound (august 1960) debuted her tour de force, the seven-minute Sounds, that relied entirely on her creative singing. Her style became both more abstract and more personal on Album (1973), mostly composed by her, that was more in line with the spirit of free jazz than with the spirit of bebop. Her crowning performance was a 25-minute version of Sounds on the double-LP The Audience (december 1979).

Only in the 1990s was she recognized as the greatest jazz vocalist yet, but later albums (suddenly hailed as masterpieces by the same critics who had always ignored her) were inferior.

Carter died in 1998.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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