It's Not About The Melody by Betty Carter
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Betty Carter titled this album It's Not About the Melody
not because she doesn't care about the melody but because she knows that the success of a jazz vocal depends on something deeper than tunefulness. Her new recording, in fact, is full of melody, for Carter exults not only in the opening themes of the 11 jazz standards and originals she tackles but also in the brand new, equally memorable strains she creates through her improvisations and variations. She's nonetheless correct; the triumph of this album derives not from the shape of the songs but from the intense emotional commitment behind the songs. --Geoffrey Himes