Carla Helmbrecht

One for My Baby

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    9
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Carla Helmbrecht, a new name, starts off her set quite successfully with one of the saddest ballads ever written, Rodgers And Hart's "It Never Entered My Mind." After pulling that one off, the highly appealing singer gradually lightens up the mood with "Mood Indigo" and "Dream a Little Dream of Me" before successfully plunging into "Love for Sale," a song with Cole Porter lyrics that still sounds modern and a touch scary today. Helmbrecht does not improvise all that much and her scatting is mostly worked out in advance but her expressive powers are quite high and she is at her best on ballads. Her octet includes pianist Frank Mantooth, Kim Richmond on alto and clarinet, trumpeter Clay Jenkins and trombonist Chris Seiter; they all get opportunites to solo. Helmbrecht closes down her memorable program with a funky version of "Moonlight in Vermont" and a salsified "Fly Me to the Moon."

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