Carmen McRae

I'll Be Seeing You

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This two-CD set mostly brings back material from singer Carmen McRae's Decca years that had been bypassed by other reissues. The oversized box, after a memorable version of "Something to Live For" (in which McRae is accompanied by the song's composer Billy Strayhorn), has many orchestra tracks that are weighed down by middle-of-the-road arrangements more suitable to Doris Day than to McRae; only "Whatever Lola Wants" is memorable among the routine ballads of 1955-56. However, things start improving with "Skyliner" and a March 1957 set with just a rhythm section is quite enjoyable; McRae herself contributes some effective piano on swinging renditions of "Perdido" and "Exactly like You." The majority of the later selections use orchestras but the charts are more jazz-oriented and McRae (who was in her mid-to-late 30s during the period) had clearly grown as a singer; tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster helps out on "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Flamingo." Overall this set is worth picking up for fans of Carmen McRae's early years, giving one a fine overview of her talents in the 1950s.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:11
2 3:07
3 2:55 Amazon
4 3:45 Amazon
5 3:20 Amazon
6 3:10
7 3:04 Amazon
8 3:08 Amazon
9 2:58 Amazon
10 3:35 Amazon
11 3:21 Amazon
12 2:42 Amazon
13 2:56 Amazon
14 2:50 Amazon
15 2:15
16 4:00 Amazon
17 2:15 Amazon
18 2:09
19 4:09 Amazon
20 2:42 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick