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Carmen Sings Monk by Carmen McRae

Recorded in 1988 this project is the realization of a unique goal: an album made up entirely of song lyrics sprinkled over some of the now well known pieces that make up the Monk repertoire. McRae handles these with great flair, wit and intelligence, and the results are very satisfying. At the core of Monk's music is the blues. In spite of the complexities of many of his compositions, the addition of lyrics, and the fitting of the music into more conventional time signatures, produces an entirely fresh product. The lyrics are a joy in themselves, yet to hear them to the accompaniment of familiar, lovable tunes makes for a fresh approach to Monk. For reasons not entirely made clear, the publishing companies holding the copyrights to his music insisted on all pieces being retitled, so I'll list them here with the original names in brackets. 1. Get It Straight [Straight No Chaser] 2. Dear Ruby [Ruby My Dear] 3. Its Over Now [Well You Needn't] 4. Monkery's The Blues [Blue Monk] 5. You Know Who [I Mean You] 6. Little Butterfly [Pannonica] 7. Listen To Monk[Rhythm-a-ning] 8. How I Wish [Ask Me Now] 9. Man That Was A Dream[Monk's dream] 10. Round Midnight [not retitled] 11. Still We Dream [Ugly Beauty] 12. Suddenly [In Walked Bud] 13. Looking Back [Reflections] 14. Suddenly 15. Get It Straight. Personnel: Tracks 2-11, 14-15: Eric Gunnison,(piano) Cliford Jordan (soprano ,tenor) George Mraz (bass) Al Foster (drums)Tracks 1,12 (live): Charlie Rouse (tenor) replaces Jordan, Larry Willis (piano) replaces Gunnison. All tracks recorded 1988.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Carmen McRae
  • CD Title: Carmen Sings Monk
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1990
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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