Carol Sloane

Live At Birdland

Live At Birdland blends upscale jazz-club intimacy with a mix of American songbook standards and distinctly neglected non-standards that have been Carol Sloan’s cup of tea since the start. She is joined by Scott Hamilton, whose Ben Webster-ish elegance along with pianist Mike Renzi reminds us of Sloan’s 1963 LP encounter with Webster himself.

Sloan has rarely looked to contemporary material, even in her early days when top writers were still on board. Now that she has lived long enough to see that unique class of professionalism largely deteriorate into an under-equipped laity of singer-songwriters, she is more comfortable than ever where she’s always been: the past.

Accordingly, her classicism is not for everybody. Sloan missed her chosen golden age by a generation. She’s become a student of a period that began in her childhood and moved backwards. She rooted herself in basics, avoiding retro caricature. She sings (and scats here and there) with a cool, contemporary sensibility while conveying the period ambiance of a song like “I Don’t Want To Walk Without You” strictly on its merits. Maybe this is why she had been held in higher esteem by her elite circle of peers than the public at large.

She closes with a 1990-ish Johnny Mandel obscurity called “I’ll Always Leave The Door A Little Open.”

On Sale Now
May 2024
Stefon Harris
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