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JazzTimes 10: Classic Vocal Jazz Duets

When one plus one equals a sound that's unquantifiable

Carmen McRae & Betty Carter: “Stolen Moments”
From The Carmen McRae-Betty Carter Duets (American Music Hall, 1987; reissued with a different cover by Verve, 1996)
Mark Murphy added lyrics to Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” in 1978 and was incensed when Carmen McRae and Betty Carter subsequently traced an entirely different storyline for their summit at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall. But the new lyrics, crafted by Gail Fisher, are perfect for these equally sassy giants as they ride the waves of Nelson’s tricky augmented scale to tell the tale of a romantic tryst. Both are at the top of their game, but McRae scores the winning point when she decrees, “I have heard when you have stolen moments it is called an affair —unfair!”

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Originally Published