'Miss Jazz': A Painter Of Songs, Transcendent At The Keyboard

Carmen McRae was one of the great jazz singers, finding the tender, warm, or heartache depth in the songs she wrote and performed. An accomplished pianist, by the time she was in her twenties, she was playing piano and singing with a number of jazz greats, including Benny Carter, Count Basie, and Mercer Ellington. The rest is history.


Carmen McRae - This "definitive" fan website devoted to Miss Jazz has a fascinating comprehensive biography and a wealth of other information about her life and career.
Carmen McRae - Her Jazz Master award profile at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Carmen McRae on Piano Jazz - This 1-hour interview/performance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz program (1985), includes Carmen McRae performing eleven of her standards. Audio only.

Carmen McRae sings with a band at the Bop City Jazz Club, San Francisco, about 1955.

Carmen McRae interview with Angela Davis - Carmen McRae talks with activist Angela Davis in 1977, discussing her early career as a jazz artist and women's involvement in show business.
Passing Fancies & Yesterdays (1958) - 5-minute video of Carmen McRae appearance on the Steve Allen TV program.
Take Five (1961) - Carmen McRae & Dave Brubeck recorded live at Basin Street East. Audio only.
The Real Ambassadors: My One Bad Habit (1962) - A 10-minute clip of Carmen McRae and Louis Armstrong performing together.

Carmen McRae with Louis Armstrong, Real Ambassadors, 1962.

Carmen McRae on Jazz Casual (1962) - 30-minute video clip from a TV performance.

Carmen McRae with Ella Fitzgerald and Brock Peters.

Suppertime (1973) - This 4-minute song -- an African-American woman's heartbreak for her lynched husband -- is Carmen McRae's iconic civil rights lament. Audio only.

Program for the Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held at Carnegie Hall.

Carmen McRae with Dizzy Gillespie (1988) - A 45-minute video of the two jazz greats performing together.
Newport Jazz Festival (1988) - Video of Carmen McRae's full 50-minute concert at the festival.