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Finest Hour Import


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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal Jazz
  • ASIN: B00008RV03
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 451,132 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do) (Album Version) 1:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. I Can't Help It (Album Version) 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Babe's Blues (Album Version) 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Medley: I Didn't Know What Time It Was/All The Things You Are/I Could Write A Book 5:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Tight 1:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Open The Door 5:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Trolley Song 3:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. I Could Write A Book (Edit) 3:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Social Call 2:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. What A Little Moonlight Can Do10:17Album Only
Listen11. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) 6:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Good Life 6:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Droppin' Things 5:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. In The Still Of The Night 4:06£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
If you are a jazz fan and don't know Betty Carter, what a treat you have in store with this CD. Carter is a totally free spirit, almost abandoning the melody, sometimes, to play with it on her own terms, going in new directions and interacting with her accompanists to create new sounds, even on "standards." And she obviously LOVES what she is doing, one of the few performers who really has fun every minute she is on stage (and several tracks here are recorded live). The result is a CD that makes the listener as happy as the performer--an upbeat, bebop, scat-filled, and uptempo collection that never lets down for an instant.

Carter blends with her band(s) on many tracks, the timbre of her voice sometimes sounding like a "blatty" trumpet and sometimes like a mellow sax, and she provides many opportunities for her musicians to take the song in new directions, to which she responds in kind. If the song is a standard and you know the melody, you will have no difficulty finding it within the variations and improvisations. "The Trolley Song," a song I have never liked, (from The Audience with Betty Carter becomes a "new" and thoroughly delightful song in Betty's hands, especially when she delays her lyrics, staying behind the band. Filled with humor and high-octane playfulness, she musically mugs with the audience and keeps them chuckling as the trolley finally runs down.

Her duet with Carmen McRae (in a track from "The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets, Live at the Great American"), "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is such a high point that listeners will undoubtedly be clicking on the link to get details about this phenomenal CD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Good representation 10 May 2003
By Caponsacchi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Betty Carter is an acquired taste. Her vocal projection stems exclusively from what "legit" singers refer to as "head tone"; her enunciation can seem unfocused (no one sings with mouth as wide open as Betty); she can frustrate listeners (including this one) who insist on hearing the tune's melody, at least on the first pass. But she's definitely an original, and there's much on this generous anthology (16 tunes, counting the medleys) that's likely to please even the quasi-converts.
Personally, I prefer Betty when she's singing originals and esoterica ("I Can't Help It," "Open the Door," "Tight"). The inclusion of the duet with Carmen McRae ("It Don't Mean a Thing") is also a welcome highlight, contrasting differences in vocal production and approaches to scat singing (Carmen's voice has far more "grain"; Betty's scat is more fluent, Carmen's more thoughtful). I wish Betty had taken jazz singing into the modal areas suggested by Miles and Coltrane, using her chant-like phrasing and plaintive inflections in an even free-er, more incantatory manner.
The best Betty Carter that I've heard is on an out-of-print, unreissued Roulette LP, "Now It's My Turn." If you can't find it, this collection is, all in all, a reasonable substitute.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The happiest, freest, most joyful and energetic vocal jazz you've ever heard. 15 May 2008
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you are a jazz fan and don't know Betty Carter, what a treat you have in store with this CD. Carter is a totally free spirit, almost abandoning the melody, sometimes, to play with it on her own terms, going in new directions and interacting with her accompanists to create new sounds, even on "standards." And she obviously LOVES what she is doing, one of the few performers who really has fun every minute she is on stage (and several tracks here are recorded live). The result is a CD that makes the listener as happy as the performer--an upbeat, bebop, scat-filled, and uptempo collection that never lets down for an instant.

Carter blends with her band(s) on many tracks, the timbre of her voice sometimes sounding like a "blatty" trumpet and sometimes like a mellow sax, and she provides many opportunities for her musicians to take the song in new directions, to which she responds in kind. If the song is a standard and you know the melody, you will have no difficulty finding it within the variations and improvisations. "The Trolley Song," a song I have never liked, (from The Audience with Betty Carter) becomes a "new" and thoroughly delightful song in Betty's hands, especially when she delays her lyrics, staying behind the band. Filled with humor and high-octane playfulness, she musically mugs with the audience and keeps them chuckling as the trolley finally runs down.

Her duet with Carmen McRae, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," (a track from "The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets, Live at the Great American"), is such a high point that listeners will undoubtedly be looking for this link to get details about this phenomenal CD. Again, they have fun, joking, playing with scat and rhythm, bouncing riffs off each other and blending two different types of voices, Carter's higher and lighter, McRae's, deeper and richer.

"Tight," a song she composed, is so fast that it's good it's only 1:37 minutes long, or we'd all be exhausted! "I Could Write a Book," (also from "The Audience with Betty Carter") starts out, like several others here, as completely scat and morphs into a toe-tapping rock-'em-sock'em performance. Even a romantic standard like "In the Still of the Night" (from It's Not About the Melody) sounds completely new--cheerful and lively, with a great piano solo, and all the traditional mystery discarded. A CD that is pure jazz, pure entertainment, and pure fun, this Betty Carter collection traces her style from 1958 until 1992 and never misses one glorious beat. n Mary Whipple

Ray Charles and Betty Carter/Dedicated to You
Look What I Got
I Can't Help It
Feed the Fire
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dancing around the tune 2 July 2007
By Nikica Gilic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This brilliant collection, spanning a great part of Carter's obviously remarkable career is highly exciting; although accompanied by some fine musicians, Betty is a true star, using her voice like an instrument, in the manner very few singers do.

Very rarely have I heard such great modern jazz singing; she's full of rhythm, wit, harmonically advanced in a be-bop fashion, and, if it's not an overstatement, I think she approaches standards in a manner reminiscent of Thelonious Monk...

The duet with Carmen McRae is a real treat (both singers are great, modern and highly individual) and Betty's originals are equally rewarding as her flights of fancy based on the standards. I don't know is this Betty's finest hour, but such a fine hour of jazz is always welcome on my CD player.

Incidently, I own only one other Betty's album - a duet project with Ray Charles on which she shows the genius of popular music a thing or two about creative singing (I like Ray's singing very much, but she is in a different league altogether - she bellongs with Billie and Sarah).
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