One of the Major Jazz Voices of the Millennium"
Carla Cook’s newest CD DEM BONES (2001) – follows her critically acclaimed and commercially successful MAXJAZZ debut, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE, which brought her not only a GRAMMY nomination but also an Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocalist. Carla will feature both albums in New York City at the Blue Note on April 1st. Her band will feature: Andy Milne, piano; Vashon Johnson, bass; and Montez Coleman, drums.
USA Today gave the CD a 3 œ of 4 star rating:
…soulful Carla Cook …shows remarkable range, swinging from the bluesy “Just a Sittin’ and a Rockin’” to the reverent “Come, Ye Disconsolate” and the sweet “A Lover’s Lullaby.”
She serves notice that, in addition to possessing a versatile instrument, pinpoint technique and a solid sense of swing, she also has a thrilling sense of adventure… DEM BONES has the air of a minor classic guided by a singer/musician of blossoming ability.
DEM BONES showcases Carla’s musical eclecticism and her incorporation of blues, R&B and gospel elements. Carla admits she “puts a groove on” the familiar country tune “Ode to Billy Joe.” On “Oh Gee,” she pays tribute to Eddie Jefferson whom she cites as a major influence. She included one of her favorite childhood hymns “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” because “It’s impossible for me to feel bad singing this song.”
At the heart of the CD is the straight-ahead jazz she has absolute mastery over, but the recording’s soul is the title cut, which Carla composed for three trombones – her voice being the fourth “bone” – a unique album concept that most vocalists would not be able to master. “When you do a variety of music, like I do,” explains Carla, “it’s important to have something to connect it. In this case, trombones are the glue that holds it all together. But it also refers to what you feel in your bones.” The combination of trombones and voice are featured on several tracks on the album including the stunning “For the Elders,” in which it is difficult to even pick out Carla’s voice from the horns.
About the Artist
Recently Carla was recognized as one of the most accomplished young musicians in the world of jazz by her selection to perform in Ravinia’s third annual Rising Stars of Jazz" series. Among accolades, she has been called “one of the major jazz voices of the millennium” by the Washington City Paper. As a performer, she’s been in high demand, playing jazz festivals across the country, singing on half a dozen records and performing as a featured vocalist with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and collaborating with artists including Cyrus Chestnut, Lonnie Plaxico and Regina Carter. She also recently ended her tour with the jazz opera Udu written by Craig Harris and poet Sekou Sundiata.
In DEM BONES, you hear the vocal precision that comes from her years of study of voice, piano and string bass – disciplines she pursued rigorously ever since she made the decision in 8th grade to become a jazz musician. There’s also the joyfulness in her delivery, which bubbles up in only the way an artist entering her prime can manifest. And, of course, there’s the sheer beauty of Carla’s voice, the one thing that’s been constant ever since she first opened her mouth at age five in the Angelic Choir at Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in her native Detroit.
Carla Cook at Blue Note on April 1st, 2002
Where: 131 W. 3rd Street, New York City
Showtimes: 8 pm / 10 pm
Tickets: Ticket price TBA / call (212) 475.8592 for reservations