Various Artists

Carmen McRae & Friends

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Since the cover of this album displays the words "Carmen McRae & Friends" with the words "Thad Jones, Cat Anderson" in smaller print beneath them, one might assume that the "friends" referred to are Jones and Anderson. Actually, this no-frills album is a condensation of the Personal Choice Records release Jazz Gala '79 (PC-51001), recorded at the European MIDEM convention in January 1979 featuring various artists, among them McRae, Jones's orchestra, and Anderson. In fact, despite the headlining status she is accorded here, McRae is only heard on half of the ten tracks. (Joe Williams, uncredited, duets with her on "Them There Eyes.") There is some spirited singing and playing, but the truth-in-packing problems make this a dubious purchase.

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