Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP) - AudioSoundMusic

Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook (2LP)

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Carmen McRae (vocals & piano on tracks A3 & D3) [click here to see more vinyl featuring Carmen McRae]

Joe Pass (guitar), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Chuck Domanico (bass),  Chuck Flores (drums)

Written by Duke Ellington (A1), Billy Strayhorn (A1), Johnny Mercer (A1), Cole Porter (A2), Bernie Hanighen (A3), Paul Coates (A3), Axel Stordahl (A4), Paul Weston (A4), Sammy Cahn (A4), Michel Legrand (A5), Alan and Marilyn Bergman (A5), Harry Warren (B1), Al Dubin (B1), Ralph Rainger (B2), Leo Robin (B2), Henry Mancini (B2), Mercer/Armando Manzanero (B2), Sid Wayne (B2), Chester Conn (B3), Benny Krueger (B3), Ned Miller (B3), Jule Styne (B3), Leon Russell (C1), Gus Arnheim (C2), Abe Lyman (C2), Arthur Freed (C2), Jimmy Rowles (C3), Jimmy McHugh (C3), Rowles (C4), McHugh (C4), Anthony Newley (C5), Ian Fraser (C5), Burt Bacharach (D1), Hal David (D1), Harry Ruby (D2), Bert Kalmar (D2), Norman Mapp (D3), Al Sherman (D4), Gerald Marqusee (D4), Al Lewis (D4), Jimmy Van Heusen (D5), Mercer (D5)


2 LPs, gatefold sleeve

Limited edition

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Speed : 33 RPM

Record color : black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’



Record Press : Pallas

Label : Pure Pleasure Records

Original Label : Atlantic

Recording: November 1971 live at Donte's, Los Angeles CA., by Ray Thompson

Production: Jack Rael

Re-mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London

Originally released in 1972


Tracks :

Side A :


1. Satin Doll 

2. At Long Last Love

3. If The Moon TurnsGreen

4. Day By Day

5. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life

Side B :

1. I Only Have Eyes For You 

2. Medley: Easy Living / Days Of Wine & Roses / It’s Impossible

3. Sunday

Side C : 


1. A Song For You

2. I Cried For You Now It’s Your Turn To Cry Over Me - Introduction -

3. Behind The Face – Introduction

4. The Ballad Of Thelonious Monk

5. There’s No Such Thing As Love

Side D : 


1.They Long To Be Close To You

2. Three Little Words Introduction

3. Mr Ugly

4. It’s Like Reaching For The Moon 

5. I Thought About You


"Mastered for reissue by Ray Staff at Air Mastering and pressed on two chunks of 180gram vinyl, this reissue gives up nothing to the original release and gains from a quieter background and lack of surface noise. For those jazz enthusiasts who love Ella and Sarah, but have not yet discovered Carmen, this is the time and place to remedy that gap, and the outstanding guitar work by Joe Pass helps this as up to an essential album." Hi Fi+ Dennis Davis

"If you love hearing some of the best songs from the Great American Songbook performed by a master this album will delight you. There is a cohesiveness to the album that earns kudos from the production team as well as the performers. Interestingly McRae and her ensemble performed 32 songs the night that this was recorded. One can only speculate as to why a volume 2 wasn't released. Regardless, this is - in my opinion - some of McRae's best live material." Mike Tarrani

« On this popular two-LP set, singer Carmen McRae interprets songs by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Michel Legrand, Warren & Dubin, Henry Mancini, and Jimmy Van Heusen, among others, but it is her rendition of a humorous Jimmy Rowles novelty ("The Ballad of Thelonious Monk") that is best remembered. Joined by pianist Rowles, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Chuck Domanico, and drummer Chuck Flores, McRae had what was at the time a rare opportunity to record a live, spontaneous, jazz-oriented set. She sounds quite enthusiastic about both her accompaniment and the strong repertoire, which includes "At Long Last Love," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "Sunday," "I Cried for You," and "I Thought About You." » AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

This is a gem of an album and one of my favorites by McRae. It was recorded live for Atlantic Records at Donte's Club in Los Angeles on November 6, 1971 and released the following year.

What I love is not only the choice of songs, but the sound quality and the performance itself. The set not only contains established standards by Ellington, Cole Porter and the other greats, but some new (at the time) material. Including Burt Bacharach's "They Long To Be Close To You" in the set was a wise decision in my opinion. It deserves to be a standard.

Of course there is the obligatory Billie Holiday song that McRae would include in all of her performances. On this album it's "I Cried For You", which was one of Billie's first recordings in 1936.

The sound quality is superb. The engineer managed to capture not only the energy from the live performance, but the richness of the ensemble backing McRae. Indeed, the musicians backing her are perfect for the material: Jimmy Rowles on piano (who wrote the "Ballad" of Thelonious Monk), Joe Pass on guitar, Chuck Domanico on bass and Chuck Flores on drums.


Allmusic : 5 / 5  ,  

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