Review from ALL ABOUT JAZZ - Mark Turner: Deborah J. Carter is the epitome of a world class jazz singer. Born in the U.S. with ties in Hawaii and Japan, her home now is in Europe. Her current concert schedule agenda is a global itinerary of performances from Cristofori, Amsterdam to Madrid Spain. Her new recording, Girl-Talking!, highlights one of her live performances at the Pannonica jazz club in Hague, Holland in 2003. The concert features Carter with her working trio performing a variety of popular covers and jazz influenced songs. From her first note it's evident that Carter is a pro. With a polished and elegant voice and diva-like skills, Carter gives the audience an entertaining performance. The first set begins with a version of the classic 'My Favourite Things,' which gives light to Carter's panache as she sings with playful exuberance while the band delivers equally engaging music. She's in total control when she scats, chats, and vocalizes on Horace Silver's 'Sister Sadie.' The modern classic 'New York State of Mind' is refreshingly smooth as the trio swings along with Carter's lithe lyrics. Other gems include a moving version of John Lennon's timeless 'Yesterday' where Carter soulfully expresses the haunting melody. The second set begins with the colorful 'Whistle Man' as Carter's range stretches boundaries with ease. The trio aptly accentuates the singer with solid playing that leaves ample room for discovery on each tune. On the blues-themed 'Ten Minute Till the Savage Comes,' pianist Coen Molenaar and bassist Mark Zandveld share impressive solos and drummer Enrique Firpi displays crisp rhythmic skills on the bonus track 'Sabado (Barr Si Coma).' With captivating vocals, good music, and the right atmosphere, Girl-Talking! Is yet another entertaining glimpse of a jazz songstress who deserves a wider audience. It's easy to hear why Deborah Carter is popular with our fellow jazz fans across the ocean. Euroclubdejazz.com - Wes Gillespie: Deborah was born on the mainland of the USA but grew up on the islands of Hawaii and Japan. She studied music from an early age and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston which set her on a path to travel far and wide using her talents as a vocalist, composer and arranger. 'Girl Talking' is her third solo set following on from her highly aclaimed debut album 'Scuse Me' from 1998 and 'Round Midnight' which paid hommage to the moon and nocturnal life. She has worked with numberous Big Bands, hosted Master Classes at US embassies around the world and tours regularly with her own band and tribute ensembles. This new live album was recorded in The Hague in Holland with Coen Molenaar on piano, Mark Zandveld on bass and production duties and Enqique Firpi on drums. Michael Varekemp joins the band on flugelhorn for 'Ahmad's Blues'. She has chosen a nice combination of well known standards, some lesser known tunes and the set also includes two self-penned bonus tracks making 14 tracks in all. They include the killer cut 'Sabado' from her 'Scuse Me' album. Working in a live environment with a tight touring band offers the artist the freedom of expression which is so essential for spontaneous jazz delivery and improvisation and that is a feature of Deborah's performances throughout this new album. From the opening Rodgers and Hammerstein 'My Favourite Things' she sets the standard for what is to come to an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. The opening verses break on this piece for a wonderful electric piano break by Coen Molenaar. Deborah moves uptempo with Horace Silver's 'Sister Sadie' where she bops Janis Siegel style to the bridge on this fast moving 'Four Brothers' type gem. She adds her own series of rhythmically succinct ideas on Billy Joel's 'New York State Of Mind' and on the classic Lennon and McCartney ballad, 'Yesterday' which she arranged for this take. One of my favourite tracks from the Great American Song book is 'Girl Talk' which I first heard performed by Roy Phillips and The Peddlers back in the sixties from the Pickwick Club in London, Deborah offers a dazzling mid tempo version of this Neal Hefti and Bobby Troup standard. They don't write songs like this anymore. Carmen Lundy's 'Perfect Stranger' wraps up the first set on this vibrant evening with the band moving in full swing to Deborah's inspired vocals and scatting. Molenaar's Bill Evans style piano solo rocks the house up to the third verse. The killer cut for me on an album of many highlights is the cover of Donald Fagen's 'Between The Raindrops' taken from his 80's The Nightfly set which has all the subtle touches of the original but done 'JAZZ style' with Deborah powering out the lyrics and scat break. One not to miss. Other tracks include 'The Whistle Man', Manhattan Transfer's 'Ten Minutes Till The Savages Come', 'Ahmad's Blues' and Bird's 'You've Proven Your Point'. Two self penned cuts 'Ten Minutes In Paris' and 'Sabado' complete an excellent live set which has the 'Girl Singing'. Jazz-Square - Leonid Auskern: In contrast with Deborah Carter's previous studio album ' 'Round Moonlight', this CD is recorded live, on April 13th - April 15th, 2003 during concerts in jazz club Pannonica in The Hague, Holland. Deborah Carter wasn't in Hague on a tour. This American has been working and living in Holland for several years. And it isn't the first year that this singer performed with the same accompanying piano trio, which, it goes without saying, was reflected quite positively in the mutual understanding of the vocalist and instrumentalists. The presence of the audience in a venue, enabling their direct reaction to artists' performance, has defined the different character of this work in comparison with the previous disk by Carter. Besides ballads, on Girl-Talking! One can hear dynamic scattting, juicy blues (Ahmad's Blues - Ahmad Jamal), and jazz versions of pop hits (New York State Of Mind - Billy Joel) - and all this with arrangements by Deborah Carter. Deborah even risked presenting to the audience her version- probably the already umpteenth- of Yesterday by Lennon-McCartney. And quite convincing! Carter - an excellent singer- is a real master of her craft. Brabants Dagblad - Rinus van der Heijden: Deborah J. Carter belongs to the generation that cherishes the cultural heritage of the Afro-American tradition. On Girl-Talking Deborah Carter manifests herself live as a refined vocalist, who tastes her repertoire on the tip of her tongue and along with that she places the history of jazz in a nutshell. She proves that point with work by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Charlie Parker, Horace Silver and Lionel Hampton. But with her you also find connections to the present: she interprets Lennon & McCartney, Billie Joel and Donald Fagen in a discerning manner. She shows her broad artistic approach in two personal original lyrics. A CD with layers! Rotterdams Dagblad - Vincent Okker: While her last CD 'Round Moonlight' (2002) was mostly a romantic affair, on this production Deborah shows a spicy side of herself. With 'My Favourite Things' she opens vocally powerful, and then continues swinging with Horace Silvers' 'Sister Sadie'. No fooling around with this woman, who stands her ground between three male accompanists! The live-aspect has been respected. By keeping the applause, announcements and anecdotes between the songs she the intimacy is enhanced. The set, in which Carter has room for a few more quiet bestsellers like 'New York State Of Mind' and 'Ahmads' Blues' (the latter embellished by flugelhorn player Michael Varekamp) between the -at times- adrenalized vocals, supplies compositions by big names: Billy Joel, Charlie Parker, Lionel Hampton. Carter gives her own twist to these standards, sounding beautiful for instance in her own arrangement of 'Yesterday'. Carter presents this song in a manner that makes you realize only after a while that the original comes from the Lennon/McCartney duo. Jazzflits - Rolf H. Polak: Fourteen very powerfully interpreted songs can be found in the new album 'Girl-Talking!' by the American singer Deborah Carter. This album is a selection of songs performed by Deborah on April 13th - 15th last year in jazz club Pannonica in The Hague (Holland). Deborah sang as if this were to be her last album, because at times it seems as if she pulled out the notes from very deep. On this record Coen Molenaar (p), Mark Zandveld (b) and Enrique Firpi (d) accompany her very professionally. The two sets that are put on this record give an excellent representation of Deborah's dynamic live performance. Upon finishing playing this album you almost have to catch your own breath as well, as the material presented here is truly overwhelming. It doesn't come as a surprise that by now she has become a welcome guest artist with several established jazz orchestra's. Trouw - Armand Serpenti: With her most recent CD, the American (now based in Amsterdam) jazz singer Deborah J. Carter distances herself in full speed from her next to last album 'Round Moonlight'. The ballads for romantic midnight fantasies from that earlier album make room for tasteful up-tempo pieces, with which Carter shows that in the highest gear she can also maintain her warm round voice and clear pronunciation. The accompanying band proves itself sublime in tightness, without losing any blues- en soul-tinted emotion. Drums, bass and piano are in seamless alignment with the intense way in which Carter interprets the more and less originally chosen standards. It is technically impeccable mainstream repertoire, recorded unpolished in the live ambience of jazzclub Pannonica in The Hague. Is there any downside? At the very most it would be that at times Carter tends to showcase her technical ability with a just-too-frivolous grace. Like in Lennon en McCartney's worn-out 'Yesterday', which she indeed gave a fresh spark of latin-swing, she stressed too much the vocal possibilities of the original vocal lines. The bulk of the pieces flow easily from tongue to ear, from Rodgers en Hammerstein's recycled 'My Favourite Things' to the two tasteful original bonustracks.
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