Carmen McRae

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Carmen Mercedes McRae (April 8, 1920 – November 10, 1994) was an American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress. Considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century, it was her behind-the-beat phrasing and her ironic interpretations of song lyrics that made her memorable. McRae drew inspiration from Billie Holiday, but established her own distinctive voice. She went on ... more »

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  • ''Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread—without it, it's flat.''
    Carmen McRae (b. 1922), U.S. jazz singer. Speech, July 2, 1980, Newport Jazz Festival, New York City. "Blues Is a Woman."
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