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Carmen McRae and the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band - November Girl

Carmen McRae (1920-1994) is one of the great jazz vocalists and has had a long career steadily releasing albums from the mid-1950s through the early 1990s.  This collaboration with the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland big band was recorded in 1970 and released in 1975 by Black Lion.  The strength of this European-based band featuring a number of expatriate American jazz musicians lends a lot of weight to the arrangements and the swing material especially sounds strong.  Sometimes, the presence of Boland's effects-treated Wurlitzer or organ gets in the way, but overall it's an excellent record and both the band and McRae sound strong.  But she is the focus here and except for a few solos the band is mostly relegated to a supporting role.  
An early and enduring influence for McRae was Billie Holiday whom she met in 1937.  By the time of November Girl from 1970, McRae's approach and sound was fully developed and matured and she sounded like no one but herself, but conceptually it&#…

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