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Betty Carter – Now It’s My Turn

$47.50 $25.00

“Based upon the diversity of music, quality of product and their extraordinary rate of progress, Pure Pleasure Records is our re-issue record company of the year.”
– hi-fi+


AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

The title of this out-of-print Roulette album was a bit premature for it would not be until the late ’80s before Betty Carter was finally “discovered.” An adventurous jazz singer whose musical integrity is almost as impressive as her talents at improvising, Carter is heard in top form throughout her obscure album. Assisted by pianist John Hicks, bassist Walter Booker and an unidentified drummer, Carter performs memorable renditions of such unlikely material as “Wagon Wheels,” “Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love” and medleys of “Music Maestro Please/Swing Brother Swing” and “Just Friends/Star Eyes.” Worth searching for.

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Arguably the most adventurous female jazz singer of all time, Betty Carter was an idiosyncratic stylist and a restless improviser who pushed the limits of melody and harmony as much as any bebop horn player. The husky-voiced Carter was capable of radical, off-the-cuff re-workings of whatever she sang, abruptly changing tempos and dynamics, or rearranging the lyrics into distinctive, off-the-beat rhythmic patterns. She could solo for 20 minutes, scat at lightning speed, or drive home an emotion with wordless, bluesy moans and sighs. She wasn’t quite avant-garde, but she was definitely ‘out’. Yet as much as Carter was fascinated by pure, abstract sound, she was also a sensitive lyric interpreter when she chose, a tender and sensual ballad singer sometimes given to suggestive asides. Her wild unpredictability kept her marginalized for much of her career, and she never achieved the renown of peers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, or Carmen McRae. What was more, her exacting musical standards and assertive independence limited her recorded output somewhat. But Carter stuck around long enough to receive her proper due; her unwillingness to compromise eventually earned her the respect of the wider jazz audience, and many critics regarded her as perhaps the purest jazz singer active in the ’80s and ’90s.


1. Music Maestro, Please / Swing Brother Swing
2. I Was Telling Him About You
3. Wagon Wheels
4. New Blues
1. Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love
2. Making Dreams Come True
3. Open the Door
4. Just Friends / Star Eyes
5. No More Words



Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm