Carmen McRae – Fine and Mellow (Live at Birdland West) {Concord}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Although Carmen McRae is the obvious star of her live record (which has been reissued on CD), she gives plenty of solo space to her notable all-star band (Red Holloway on tenor and alto, organist Jack McDuff, guitarist Phil Upchurch, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Paul Humphrey). McRae did not record in this context with an organ group very often. All seven songs (which range in length from four minutes to the nine-and-a-half-minute title track) are swing-era standards except for Eubie Blake’s “My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More,” which dates back to the early ’20s, but McRae updates them a bit and makes them sound relevant and swinging. Recommended.

Tracks:
01 – What Is This Thing Called Love
02 – What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry
03 – Fine and Mellow
04 – These Foolish Things Remind Me of You
05 – Black and Blue
06 – One More Chance
07 – Untill the Real Thing Comes Along
08 – My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More

Personnel:
Carmen McRae – vocals
Red Holloway – tenor & alto saxophone
John Clayton – bass
Paul Humphrey – drums
Jack McDuff – organ
Phil Upchurch – guitar

Recorded live at Birdland West, Long Beach, CA; December 1987

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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