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Carla Cook

Carla Cook

My Poppa done tol’ me when I was in knee pants, “Don’t worry about who might be better than you are-the toughest act to follow is yourself.” No doubt Carla Cook had the same old schooling from her peeps back in Detroit. Cook’s first step was giant: a 1999 Grammy nomination for best jazz vocal performance for her album It’s All About Love. It was her debut. It was released on indie label MaxJazz. The other nominees were major-league veterans. What are the odds on that happening? Toughest act….

No wonder NARAS members, critics, radio stations and the folk who actually buy music all flipped over It’s All About Love: At last, a modern jazz singer who truly re-covers the standard waterfronts (Count Basie to Rodgers and Hart to Milton Nascimento) with fresh coats of paint. A real presence. A mad-loose, straightahead jazz diva with a gospel soul, big band heart, classical yin (cool) and improvisational yang (hot). And what a beautiful voice-warm, amber-hued contralto.

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