At Ratso's Vol.1
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An Original Live Concert recorded in 1976 at Ratso's in Chicago. One of Carmen's finest performances.
4.5 Star review -- Les Line, 52nd Street Jazz Review, May 2002
52Street Jazz review by Les Line. -- Internet website
JazzTimes review by Christopher Loudon. September 2002 issue p104 --Music Magazine, September 2002
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If you love all of the Great Ladies of Jazz, You will Love Carmen!!
For me, I love all her Vocals more as she ages. Her voice is deeper, and her
emhasiis on words is her trade mark. You Feel Her Joy, Pain, Hope in every song she has chosen to perform. Two close friends of mine are Ed Bennet her Bass man on this CD and Jelsa Palao, singer song writer that wrote "I am Music" ( Before Barry did his version). This song is Amazing! Any and all Musicians will relate to it. I was lucky to have met Carmen many years before she died. Not only was she an incredible vocalist, she was a kind and caring woman. Jelsa has a CD out now called " For The Love Of Carmen".So, if you Love Carmen as I do, buy all her CD'S she is gone and will never create more or Pick up Jelsa's CD. You will Love it too.
The problems with this recording are less Carmen's than the culture of the 1970's, a decade notorious for providing very little of substance for artists seeking to "connect" with contemporary tastes. Much if not most of the material belongs to the category of "period piece," and the instrumental back-up--reduced to playing lots of anemic triads and supplying obvious programmatic effects--reflects the skimpy opportunities present in the music. Unfortunately, the Ellington pieces represent the exception rather than the quality of the program as a whole.
The wonder is that Carmen makes music and drama out of this ephemera at all. But this album is unlikely to command repeated listenings--unless your attraction is less to Carmen the supreme jazz artist and more to Carmen the cabaret queen. I have yet to check out Vol. 2, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a more satisfying representation of Carmen's unique talent.