Claiborne Cary

Now and Then

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A superior cabaret singer who is not afraid to laugh at herself or to swing, Claiborne Cary has long been a popular attraction in the New York area. This CD has five songs from a never before released demo tape cut in 1965 (with pianist Dick Reynolds, bassist Johnny Frigo, and drummer Rick Frigo) and seven selections from 1995 (with trios led by either Billy Stritch or Michael Abene on piano). Cary's voice had not declined at all through the years, and there is a surprising unity to this enjoyable set. There are surprises along the way, even in the older standards, because the singer sometimes alters words a bit. Her voice sounds pretty beautiful much of the time, and the highlights include a rousing version of "The Trolley Song," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "No Moon at All," "I Don't Want to Play in Your Yard," "Mean to Me," and Benny Carter's "Rock Me to Sleep." The only reservation one has is that the program is a bit brief at 30 minutes, but what is here is excellent.

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