Thursday, April 2, 2009

Carol Fredette: Everything in Time

Soundbrush Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 4.2.09
Buy CD: Everything in Time

Most of you probably haven't heard of Carol Fredette, and that's a shame.

She's not a household name on the West Coast for several reasons. She grew up in the New Jersey/New York area, started singing with bands from that area — and still does — and was absent from the jazz scene for a decade. Although she never has been featured with well-known big bands, it's hard to find a name jazz musician she hasn't worked with. Ron Carter, Mel Lewis and Stan Getz shared a stage with her, and the latter has stated that “she's as good as they come.”

Fredette is a true jazz vocalist. Her “feel” and phrasing are marvelous; her voice is dusky and sensual. Although she usually sings softly and expressively, she can belt it out when necessary. She favors songs that, while perhaps not readily familiar, tell a story that'll keep an audience riveted to her.

This album contains 15 tunes: mostly ballads, and many with a Brazilian pop-jazz feel. Every one is enjoyable.

Fredette's status as a true jazz vocalist also is evident in her choice of the musicians in her backup sextet: Helio Alves, Dario Eskanazi and Andy Ezrin split piano duties; Leonardo Amuedo handles guitar; Adriano Santos and Victor Lewis trade off as drummers. Barry Danielian plays trumpet, Aaron Heicke and Bob Malach play sax, and Mauro Refosco handles percussion ... and everything is held together by celebrated bassist/arranger David Finck.

Whatever the combination, these guys groove, and they showcase Fredette as a complete vocalist.

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