In 2000, when I was fortunate enough to hear veteran Carol Sloane sing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, I considered myself very lucky indeed. Within a few moments after she opened her mouth to sing, you could hear a pin drop in the hall. No one wanted to miss a single second of her gorgeous vocal performance.
Today, as I sit here listening to Carol Sloane’s latest CD, Dearest Duke, again I’m absolutely thrilled with her flawless vocals to some of Ellington most endearing tunes. Carol really knows how to sing jazz, something you rarely find with vocal performances these days. What’s even more amazing to me is that many jazz enthusiasts are totally unfamiliar with her career that began more than 50 years ago.
Sloane has 20 beautiful albums to her credit and has performed with a slew of major musicians, among them: Jimmy Rowles, Ben Webster, Phil Woods, Bill Charlap, Art Farmer, Kenny Barron, George Mraz, Benny Golson, Bills Mays, Clark Terry, Jim Hall, Houston Person and Tommy Flanagan to name a few. She was a favored singer of musicians and audiences, and continues to perform at some of the most popular venues in NYC. She's a survivor and one talented lady.
Her new Dearest Duke CD debut with Arbors Records includes the fine accompaniment of Ken Peplowski on clarinet and tenor sax, and Brad Hatfield on piano. It’s full-bodied and no frills just the way jazz should be listened to. Peplowski is so Webster-esk it's wonderful and Hatfield’s beautiful piano lends perfect sympatico to Ms. Sloane’s outstanding vocals a sheer delight from beginning to end.
This CD, along with others from Carol Sloane’s discography, definitely should belong in your jazz library, and may be purchased on line at amazon.com and arborsrecords.com.