By Jean TimmonsThere is forever room in the jazz universe for the singer with je ne sais quoi that keeps everyone undecided about whether she or he is a jazz singers or . . . just an unusual pop warbler. Such is the case with Carol Fredette and Marcus Goldhaber.
Many jazz fans have heard of Carol Fredette, a veteran New York jazz singer, and will be curious about this release, which marks her return to recording after around a ten-year absence. She is an enunciator, a storyteller who takes much concern with the phrasing of every line. You won’t find this lady scatting. With her style, she is quite the professional, quite at home with the musicians backing up her every move. The program is composed of classic American and Brazilian pop-jazz. Delivery is the key with Legrand’s “I Was Born in Love with You” and Cy Coleman’s “Would You Believe”; and perkiness drives “A Fine Romance” and “Love Thy Neighbor.” According to the “linear” notes, Fredette has long been attached to Brazilian music and has “never done a set since [hearing sixties albums of Jobim and Gilberto] without including a Brazilian song in it.” In this set, she includes Jobim and Lees “Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer)” and Silva, Teixeira, and Hendricks “O Pato (The Duck),” in addition to imparting a Brazilian jazz flavor to few selections. Delivery, perkiness, and Brazilian attitude come together in the last song, written by Kenny and Eva Loggins, “Wait a Little While,” from which the recording’s title derived.
On first hearing Goldhaber, one is instantly reminded of a number of singers, but particularly trumpeter Chet Baker, who enhanced his reputation with vocals. In addition to Goldhaber’s sound, his new release features many original compositions and arrangements with pianist Jon Davis. His compositions are on the order of prose poems, pithy little narratives about love and misery. These songs can be very effecting, the titles indicate the content—“Take Me,” “The Oeuvre of the In-Between,” “You’re Beautiful, You Know That,” “I Fall Apart,” or “A Felony Called Love.” Cute. Yet they strike a chord, and lines linger well after shutting it down. The fresh arrangements of such standards as “No Moon at All” (many will surely mistake Goldhaber for Baker for at least a few lines), “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening,”and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails” round out an entertaining package.