Benny Carter

Songbook, Vol. 2

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The 1997 release of this CD helped Benny Carter celebrate his 90th birthday, featuring 14 of his original ballads by a dozen guests, in addition to a warm tribute to his wife of many years, "When Hilma Smiles," sung by Carter himself in a friendly, unpretentious manner. His smooth alto sax hasn't lost anything over the decades, and the top-notch cornet of Warren Vaché is also a nice touch. The highlights among the guest vocalists' contributions include Nancy Marano's emotional version of "He Doesn't Need Me Now" and Wesla Whitfield's sassy take of "I'm the Caring Kind."

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