Jazz Singer Carol Sloane Dies at 85


Sloane’s death comes nine months after the release of her final album, Live At Birdland (Club44 Records)

(Photo: Courtesy Club44 Records)

Jazz singer Carol Sloane died Jan. 23 at a senior care center in Stoneham, Massachusetts. She was 85. The cause was complications from a stroke she suffered two years ago, according to relatives.

Sloane’s death comes nine months after the release of her final album, Live At Birdland (Club44 Records).

“I was first told about Carol by a jazz club owner in New York City who referred to her as ‘the white Ella,’” said Sloane’s co-producer Mark Sendroff, a long-time friend. “Of course, I had to hear what he meant and came to realize that he was referring to her musicality and ability to tell the story while incorporating just enough scat to tastefully enhance the melody, rather than show off. We have now lost one of the remaining few authentic bridges to the golden age of jazz.”

Born on March 5, 1937, Carol Anne Morvan sang in church choirs in her hometown of Smithfield, Rhode Island. At 14, she began singing as Carol Vann with a local big band led by Ed Drew. Her jazz career started in the 1950s when she shared the stage with notable jazz musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry and Ben Webster. Her success at the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival garnered the attention of national media outlets and led to her signing with Columbia Records, thrusting her into a career that placed her among the most noted jazz vocalists of the era.

Recordings and regular television appearances, including The Tonight Show, brought Sloane global acclaim. In addition to appearances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Lincoln Center, she toured extensively in Japan and performed in Canada, the U.K., Spain, Brazil, Portugal and the Netherlands.

A documentary about the life of Carol Sloane titled Sloane: A Jazz Singer is currently in post-production, scheduled to premiere early this year. To order her CD Live At Birdland, click here. DB

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