Carmen McRae

Dream of Life

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This 1998 CD features singer Carmen McRae late in her career, after recording her notable Thelonious Monk tribute but before cutting her final album, a set of Sarah Vaughan-associated songs. Joined by the WDR Big Band and performing arrangements by John Clayton, McRae is in fine form on a wide-ranging program. Among the better selections are "In Walked Bud," "For All We Know," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and "You're a Weaver of Dreams"; on the latter, McRae accompanies herself on piano. Pianist Eric Gunnison is a major asset in the ensembles and on "Miss Brown to You" both Jon Eardley and a 20-year-old Roy Hargrove have trumpet solos. A rare opportunity to hear McRae accompanied by such a large orchestra.

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