~ Amintirea zilei – Today’s Memory ~
April 8, 1920, Harlem – November 10, 1994, Beverly Hills, California
Carmen Mercedes McRae was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and her ironic interpretations of song lyrics that made her memorable.
Carmen Mcrae – Woman Talk
In her late teens and early twenties, McRae played piano at a New York City club called Minton’s Playhouse, Harlem’s most famous jazz club, sang as a chorus girl, and worked as a secretary. It was at Minton‘s where she met trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Kenny Clarke, had her first important job as a pianist with Benny Carter’s big band (1944), worked with Count Basie (1944) and under the name Carmen Clarke (having married Kenny Clarke) made her first recording as pianist with the Mercer Ellington Band. But it was while working in Brooklyn that she came to the attention of Decca’s Milt Gabler. Her five-year association with Decca yielded 12 LPs.
No More Blues Carmen McRae Live, 1986
She went on to record over 60 albums, enjoying a rich musical career, performing and recording in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Carmen McRae – The Very Thought of You