Sunday, February 22, 2009

How High The Moon - Betty Carter 1994

Betty Carter (born Lillie Mae Jones, May 16, 1929 – September 26, 1998) was an American jazz singer who was renowned for her improvisational technique and idiosyncratic vocal style. Carmen McRae once claimed that "there's really only one jazz singer - only one: Betty Carter."

She studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. She won a talent contest and became a regular on the local club circuit, singing and playing piano. When she was 16, she sang with Charlie Parker, and she later performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.

Carter's career was eclipsed somewhat during the 1960s and 1970s, though a series of duets with Ray Charles in 1961, including the R&B-chart-topping "Baby, It's Cold Outside," brought her a measure of popular recognition.

In the last decade of her life, Carter finally began to receive wider acclaim and recognition. In 1988 she won a Grammy for her album Look What I Got! and was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton. Carter remained active in jazz until her death.

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