In New York City jazz circles, vocalist Carol Mennie is perhaps best known for her collaborations with guitarist Dom Minasi. While Minasi has his share of avant-garde and free jazz credentials, not all of his work has been in that vein, and Mennie is not an overly abstract or complicated type of singer. Actually, she is a fairly accessible, straightforward artist whose direct or indirect influences have included Shirley Horn, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Julie London. Mennie has a relaxed yet confident sense of swing, and she gets her inspiration not only from straight-ahead jazz, but also from traditional pop, cabaret and Broadway/theater music. The theatrical influence isn't surprising given that in addition to jazz singing, Mennie has a long history of acting in theatrical productions.
Mennie's interest in theater and music is what brought her to the Big Apple, where she graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the ‘80s. It was in 1989 that Mennie met Minasi -- who she ended up marrying -- began performing together professionally on the New York City jazz scene in 1990 (sometimes working as an intimate vocal/guitar duo). But it wasn't until 1999 that Mennie, with Minasi's help and encouragement, finally got around to becoming a recording artist and providing a CD of her own. That year, the singer/actress recorded her debut album, I'm Not a Sometime Thing, which was released on the independent CDM Records in 2004. I'm Not a Sometime Thing was produced and arranged by Minasi, who plays guitar on the CD and wrote five of the selections (all of which underscore Minasi's ability to appear in a more traditional setting and write material that is not avant-garde or left of center. Minasi, in fact, is an eclectic, broad-minded player who can handle a wide variety of musical situations). Mennie's vocals can also be heard on Minasi's 2003 release Time Will Tell, which finds Mennie performing the famous Thelonious Monk standard "Round Midnight."