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Portrait Of Carmen

LP (Item 39432) Atlantic, 1967 — Condition: Near Mint-

An excellent album from Carmen McRae – one of her hippest records ever, and a great set of vocal gems that often gets overlooked! Arrangements are by Benny Carter, Shorty Rogers, and Oliver Nelson – and the album's got a swinging groovy style that pushes Carmen past her straighter jazz vocal roots – into some hiply sophisticated territory that really shows her growing as a singer in the 60s. The album kicks off with an amazing reading of Tommy Wolf's "I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco", done by Carmen in a way that makes you know she owns the song – and then it moves through a compelling blend of compositions that includes "My Very Own Person", "Ask Any Woman", "Boy, Do I Have A Surprise For You", and "Elusive Butterfly".  © 1996-2019, Dusty Groove, Inc.
(Red & green Rockefeller label pressing.)

Near Mint - (minus)

  • Black vinyl that may show a slight amount of dust or dirt.
  • Should still be very shiny under a light, even with slight amount of dust on surface.
  • One or two small marks that would make an otherwise near perfect record slightly less so. These marks cannot be too deep, and should only be surface marks that won't affect play, but might detract from the looks.
  • May have some flaws and discoloration in the vinyl, but only those that would be intrinsic to the pressing. These should disappear when the record is tilted under the light, and will only show up when looking straight at the record. (Buddah and ABC pressings from the 70's are a good example of this.)
  • May have some slight marks from aging of the paper sleeve on the vinyl.
  • Possible minor surface noise when played.

Additional Marks & Notes

If something is noteworthy, we try to note it in the comments — especially if it is an oddity that is the only wrong thing about the record. This might include, but isn't limited to, warped records, tracks that skip, cover damage or wear as noted above, or strictly cosmetic flaws.



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When You're Away
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The cover's got a 70s look, but the material here is from that great mid-60s moment when the talents of Carmen McRae were really coming alive – and producer Bob Shad was on hand to capture all the magic in all of its glory! The Carmen heard here is completely different than the singer of the ... LP, Vinyl record album

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Mad About The Man
Decca, 1958. Very Good+
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Atlantic, 1971. Near Mint- 2LP Gatefold
The title sounds a bit ambitious, but the album's actually a great intimate date from Carmen McRae – a beautifully-recorded small combo performance – caught live at Donte's in LA, with a sound that hearkens back to some of Carmen's best work of the 50s! The format is spare and simple ... LP, Vinyl record album

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Bittersweet
Focus, Mid 60s. Very Good+
Here's a rare one from Carmen – a beautifully understated session recorded for the tiny Focus label, done with spare and soulful backings from Norman Simmons, who leads the album's small combo on the backing. Tracks are nice and mellow – very different than some of the later work ... LP, Vinyl record album

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Book Of Ballads
Kapp, 1958. Very Good
Carmen McRae's book of ballads is a great set of standards – performed by a core trio that features Don Abney on piano, over larger backings by Frank Hunter! The set's a treasure from Carmen's early years – and is filled with dusky renditions of tunes that are familiar, but which have ... LP, Vinyl record album
Time, 1962. Very Good
A wonderful set by Carmen McRae – captured at San Francisco's Sugar Hill in 1962 – backed by a tight trio! Carmen is in sweet form here, very loose and and wise, and the group knows just how to fill out the sound. She scats loosely on the opening "Sunday", nearly hits a weep ... LP, Vinyl record album

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I'm Coming Home Again
Buddah, 1978. Near Mint- 2LP Gatefold
A great smooth soul session from Carmen McRae – an album that's not nearly as well known as her American sides of the 70s, but which is possibly even better overall! The record features a great batch of smooth soul arrangements by Mario Sprouse – a blend of jazz and contemporary soul ... LP, Vinyl record album
Blue Note, 1976. Near Mint- 2LP Gatefold
A great illustration of the genius of Carmen McRae in the 70s – a record that easily shows why Carmen was hipper than most of her contemporaries from two decades before! The set has the vocalist somehow managing to still stick in a straight jazz style, without going for cheaper soul routines ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atlantic, 1956. Very Good
They got the "jazz date" right in the title on this one – as Chris Connor works here with some exceptional small combo backing – all in a mode that almost takes her back to the earliest sound of her first few records on Bethlehem! Ralph Sharon's the maestro here – ... LP, Vinyl record album

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