CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

JazzTimes 10: Classic Vocal Jazz Duets

When one plus one equals a sound that's unquantifiable


Ray Charles & Betty Carter: “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”
From Ray Charles and Betty Carter (ABC, 1961)
In 1960, as Ray Charles was jumping from Atlantic to ABC and from R&B shouter to soul-laced pop stylist, he was encouraged by Miles Davis to take a young, richly promising vocalist under his wings. She was Betty Carter. They toured together and, in 1961, teamed for an album that not only set Carter on the road to stardom but ranks among the finest duet discs ever recorded. The opening track, Cole Porter’s bittersweet “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” is flawless, Carter’s gently sighed innocence serving as stunning counterpoint to Charles’ world-weary wistfulness.

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Originally Published