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Carol Sloane: Dearest Duke

Think of a copper roof, glistening in the sun, all shiny and new. Now, add several decades’ wear and consider how immensely more intriguing its patina, burnished green and gray, reflecting the warmth and experience of maturity. Such is the autumnal splendor of Carol Sloane’s voice.

Indeed, though this consummate tribute honors Duke Ellington (and, of course, by association, Billy Strayhorn), it is a Vernon Duke sentiment that leaps immediately to mind. For, what is there to say that hasn’t already been said about Sloane’s vocal charisma? Indeed, nothing, except that her ability to shape 11 duskily majestic tracks supported by just piano (courtesy of Brad Hatfield) plus touches of woodwind and brass (with Ken Peplowski alternating on clarinet and sax) simply heightens their magnificence.

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