Carol McCartney - Be Cool (2014)

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Carol McCartney - Be Cool (2014)
Artist: Carol McCartney
Title Of Album: Be Cool
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Jazz Vocals
Label: Moxy
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 54:20
Total Size: 127 Mb
Covers: Front

01. Be Cool (4:56)
02. I'm Old Fashioned (3:26)
03. For Heaven's Sake (5:20)
04. Tulip Or Turnip (5:30)
05. Yesterdays (4:35)
06. Ev'rything I've Got (Belongs To You) (3:10)
07. Solitary Moon (4:50)
08. Just You Just Me (5:15)
09. 'S Wonderful (4:08)
10. West Coast Blues (4:58)
11. Almost Twelve (4:04)
12. More Than You Know (4:02)

"How heavenly heaven can be."

That's a line from an old jazz standard called For Heaven's Sake that Billy Holiday made a hit a very long time ago.

If your idea of heaven is jazz/pop/blues driven by sumptuous arrangements, with an assured, mature vocalist at the controls, you can listen to the newest release from Mississauga songstress Carol McCartney and discover just how heavenly jazz can be.

For Heavens Sake is just one of the standouts on a record that is well-paced, well- played and well-conceived.

Inexplicably, this is just the second release under her own name for McCartney, a 26-year Port Credit resident who's sinuous and supple voice deserves a much wider audience.

A Night in Tunisia, recorded in 2007, won raves from critics and her live work features the same tasteful, evocative touch that graces her records.

The new release, titled Be Cool , shows that the vocalist is once again in complete control of the material, which is often mined from that sub-category of minor standards, the ones that have wandered slightly off the beaten track.

Standouts in that genre include the moody Solitary Moon, More Than You Know and Everything I've Got Belongs to You.

Half the six-person band on the record actually live within a couple of blocks of McCartney's Port Credit home, including pianist Brian Dickinson, who provided arrangements for half the tunes. The always reliable bassist Kieran Overs, particularly effective on For Heaven's Sake, is also a Mississaugan.

Rick Wilkins, long-time saxophonist with Rob McConnell's Boss Brass who sits atop the pile of the country's best jazz arrangers, provided the charts for three songs including Solitary Moon.

The singer worked in studio and on stage for years with pianist and arranger John Sherwood. When he wanted to spend more time with his own trio she started working with the Juno-award winning Dickinson, who heads the keyboard department in the Humber College jazz program.

"He brought that contemporary vibe," says McCartney, who teaches vocal jazz at Mohawk College.

The singer steps a little out of her comfort zone with reworkings of Wes Montgomery's West Coast Blues and Joni Mitchell's Be Cool. The latter was a bit of a revelation for McCartney, a longtime Joni fan. "I'd never sung a Joni tune," she said in an interview at a Port Credit coffee shop. "It's tricky because she throws in more words than scan to the metre. It took me a while to master it. "There are interesting horn lines around the vocal that are different. This was a fresh idea for me I usually do more classic kinds of jazz this was a little out of the mould."

It's one of the freshest tracks on the record.

Ironically, so is "I'm Old-Fashioned," the classic 1942 Johnny Mercer-Jerome Kern song which has a Dickinson arrangement featuring an especially effective drum/vocal entrance from veteran Terry Clarke.

Also featured on the record are saxophonist Chris Robinson, guitarist Lorne Lofsky and Mike Malone on flugelhorn.

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