Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics


  • Vocals: Carmen McRae
  • Tenor Saxophone: Eddie Lockjaw Davis
  • Cornet: Nat Adderley
  • Piano, Celeste ( 14) Arrangement: Norman Simmons
  • Bass: Bob Cranshaw
  • Drums: Walter Perkins

Carmen McRae Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics is a jazz album by Carmen McRae, recorded in two recording sessions on 29 June and 26 July 1961 released on Columbia Records in 1962.

The album

Carmen McRae heard next to Annie Ross and Abbey Lincoln at the jazz singers who are strongly influenced by Billie Holiday style. "She had the biggest influence on my life, as far as it relates to my career. I met her when I was very young and extremely vulnerable. If she had said, jumping off the roof, I would have probably done as much as I was impressed with her, "said McRae in their memories. The singer discovered Billie Holiday for going on the record and on the radio and finally heard it in the Harlem Apollo Theatre. When she a few years later won an amateur competition there, Irene Kitchings was aware of them, who was then married with Teddy Wilson. McRae then worked as a " demo " singer for Kitchings, the so sold their songs to agencies and publishers. One day she was the song " Some Other Spring" sing their idol " Lady Day ". At 17, she then wrote the song " Dream of Life " for Holiday; the two remained friends until ' ladys' death in 1959.

Two years after the death of Billie Holiday and fruitful cooperation with the Decca and Kapp ( 1954-59 ) McRae wanted to record an album of songs associated with Billie Holiday in connection or were written by her, such as " God Bless the Child ". But Milt Gabler, the then head for Kapp Records and former longtime manager at sessions of " Lady Day ", do not you allowed this desire. It was not until her move to Columbia Records, they could make this happen; support from producer Teo Macero assembled them the right companion for your project. First, this was their regular " working band " with their musical director, pianist Norman Simmons, bassist Bob Cranshaw further and drummer Walter Perkins. Was expanded to the band by guitarist Mundell Lowe and the guest musicians, the cornet player Nat Adderley and Eddie Lockjaw Davis tenor sax player, so to speak, Harry Sweets Edison and the role of Ben Webster in classic sessions of " Lady Day " took over.

The jazz critic Ralph Gleason wrote in his liner notes to the original LP that " Lover Man " is an introduction to McRae's skills as a tragic actress. According to the judgment of Richard Cook and Brian Morton, the album is at all close to the idol "pure Carmen McRae " with many melancholy, but also sarcastic phrases. McRae stress, as Will Friedwald in the liner notes, in all its interpretations, the " swinging " side of " Lady Day " after their model Louis Armstrong.

Edition history

The album was released in 1962 first under the original title, In 1973, in an abbreviated form as Carmen McRae Sings Billie Holiday ( KH 32177 ) and again under the original title and all 12 titles under the number PC 37002 as Compact Disc -. Republishing 1997 by Michael Cuscuna produced - the album in the Columbis / Legacy series ( CK 65115 ) was provided with two additional bonus tracks; " The Christmas Song " first appeared on the Jingle Bell Jazz Anthology of Columbia, the title "If the Moon Turns Green " comes from "Lady Day" friend and producer Bernie Hanighen and is a duo of pianist Simmons and McRae; he was never sung by Billie Holiday and therefore then not included in the original LP. Except for the title 3, 8 and 13 all the tracks were recorded at the first session in June.

Carmen McRae took in the course of their careers several more times title of " Lady Day " on; so, for example, in the album For Lady Day in 1995. As a sign of friendship she sang at every concert a title that is associated with Billie Holiday as "Good Morning Heartache ", " Them There Eyes ", " Lover Man ", " God Bless the Child, " " Do not explain ", and others.

The title


Richard Cook and Brian Morton considered in their Penguin Guide to Jazz the Lover Man album as McRae best work and recorded it from the highest rating of four stars.