Jazz singer Carmen McRae (1920-1994) was both a friend and a student of vocal icon Billie Holiday, and in learning Lady Day's lessons well, McRae eventually cultivated her own unique style. Phrasing behind the beat, a sense of irony, and a musicianly approach (McRae frequently accompanied herself on piano) made her one of the greatest American Songbook stylists ever. The budget-priced MASQUERADE makes for a fine entry point to McRae's artistry: eight standards she's at home with provide eight opportunities to hear classic songs recast in her distinctive fashion.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic