Betty Carter

It's Not About the Melody

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A song's melody is simply a reference point and a beginning for Carter; she takes words and inverts, probes and extends them, embellishes themes, changes moods and alters rhythms. She's a vocal improviser in a manner few have equaled, and if her voice lacks the clarity and timbre of the all-time greats, she's more than compensated with incredible timing, flexibility and power. Throughout this 11-track effort, Carter's vocals direct and steer the responses of pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Ariel J. Roland and drummer Lewis Nash. It was yet another memorable outing for Betty Carter, an all-time great.

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