Carol Sloane

Jazz Singer


Sloane at Her Best, with Swing and Zest"

by Chip Deffaa New York Post, August 31, 2001

Carol Sloane, 64, says she found her calling when she first heard Sarah Vaughan sing. As a Catholic schoolgirl raised to do everything "by the book," says Sloane, she'd never before realized that you could improvise on a melody.

Sloane is a fine jazz singer, capable of first putting across a melody straight, with excellent diction and intonation, and then offering tasteful embellishments with a satisfying sense of swing.

Her Algonquin show includes beguiling renditions of several superb songs, including the richly melodic "Deep Purple" and "Don't Be That Way," which was featured on her last Concord CD, "Carol Sloane and Clark Terry."

She has great fun, too, darting deftly through the tongue-twisting version of Duke Ellington's "Cottontail."

Not all of the material Sloane has chosen is as memorable. But even lesser tunes, like a lightweight novelty about a lion, are offered with clarity and a touch of class.

Sloane is aided immensely by the presence of Norman Simmons at the keyboard. She could not have found a finer accompanist: strong, sensitive, supportive and consistently intriguing. For 20 years, he was accompanist to the pre-eminent male jazz/blues singer of the time, the late Joe Williams. In earlier years, he'd worked with Anita O'Day and Carmen McRae -- jazz royalty all.

Paul West, on bass, also worked with Williams (and before him, with McRae and Peggy Lee). Sloane is lucky to have "inherited" them since Williams' passing. They help make this her most satisfying club show yet.