Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gilbert-Carter Will Jazz the Blues at DC Blues Festival

Here is a review of a very talented Washington DC based vocalist, Janine Gilbert-Carter that is of note. I also selected this as an outstanding recording of 2007. I found out that she and Sandra Y. Johnson will be appearing at the DC Blues Society's 20th DC Blues Festival as The Jazzy Blues Women, and be backed by a band that includes Vince Smith on keyboards and the legendary Dohn Nunley on saxophone. They are scheduled to appear at around 3:30PM

Originally from Pennsylvania, but a resident of the Washington D.C. area since 1988, vocalist Janine Gilbert-Carter has distinguished herself both as a gospel and jazz singer. Jazz Karma has just issued her new album, A Song For You, Live at the 15th Annual FMJS East Jazz Festival that should hopefully make her better known outside of the Nation’s Capital. The February 2006 appearance at the East Coast Jazz Festival captured here has her backed by a wonderful band featuring saxophonist Paul Carr, guitarist Steve Abshire, pianist Chris Grasps, bassist Gavin Fallow and drummer Clyde Adams. And while Carr gets a number of strong solos here, with his Texas-based tenor playing being especially nice, Ms. Gilbert-Carter is front and center possessing a delivery that swings along with the band over a wonderful range of material that includes songs associated with Dinah Washington (What a Difference a Day Makes); Big Maybelle (Candy); Shirley Horn (Here’s to Life); Percy Mayfield (Please Send Me Someone to Love); Etta James (At Last); and Denise LaSalle (Someone Else is Steppin’ In). And then there are the standards like All of Me, and When I Fall In Love. No matter how familiar a song is, Janine Gilbert-Carter brings a breath of fresh air in her interpretations, with her phrasing and the sophisticated bluesy inflections she adds. I was familiar with Leon Russell’s A Song For You, from Donny Hathaway’s recording. The rendition here does evoke Hathaway’s prior recording but she provides an equally stirring performance. She transforms Denise LaSalle’s soul-blues classic, Someone Else is Steppin’ In, into a swinging blues as she belts out the lyric on a stunning performance (Carr’s tenor solo also deserves note). It must have been quite a night to see Janine Carter-Gilbert at the East Coast jazz Festival when this was recorded. The proof is this terrific album that that is available at

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