Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Janine Gilbert-Carter At Last

I was at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival performance by Janine Gilbert-Carter which was recorded and released under the title “At Last." Carter is among a number of wonderful vocalists that can be heard in the Mid-Atlantic region, regularly performing around Washington DC and its suburbs. Carter, has toured internationally and as I write this, about to appear at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. She was mentored by the late Washington vocal legend Ronnie Wells. and brings a background in gospel, blues and jazz together with singing that is full of heart and passion delivered with humor or pathos and with her wonderful intonation and timing. On this self-produced recording, before a packed audience of friends and fans, she is backed by pianist Eric Byrd, bassist Wes ‘Sugah’ Biles, drummer Jeff Neal and saxophonist Brian Lee Settles.

She gets the audience involved in a call and response on a lively “Let the Good Times Roll,” while captures the indigo mood of the Ellington classic, “Don’t Get Around Much More,” with  tenor sax from Settles. This is a set list of favorite songs including a nice “Stormy Monday” (Byrd is outstanding on piano); a  reworking of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”; lovely ballad renditions of “Since I Fell For You” and “My Family Valentine”; and some strong scatting on “How High the Moon.” Much of her interpretation of “Fever” is a duet with bassist Biles followed by a rocking “I Don’t Hurt No More,” (with more outstanding playing from Settles) before closing with “At Last,”  a song that is always being requested by those attending her performances. Eric Byrd takes us to church during his solo here.

The performances that evening were marvelously recorded, mixed and mastered by Bluehouse Productions. Some folk might question the inclusion of so many well-known and familiar songs, but these are the songs that are her bread and butter and favorites of those who came for to see her that night. In her voice, these are not tired standards, but heartfelt renditions of classic songs. All that were at that show received this recording that stands up as more than a souvenir. This is available at Her website is

Here is Janine Gilbrt-Carter singing "Stormy Monday" at Westminster Church in Washington DC as part of their weekly Friday night Jazz series.

No comments: