Carol Fredette is a perfect example of an undiscovered treasure. Or at least undiscovered by a wide audience, because she’s been a fixture on the New York club scene for many years and has built a following of loyal fans, some of whom are her fellow artists. She’s been called ‘a musician’s singer,’ and jazz great Stan Getz once said of her, ‘She’s as good as they come.’
But a wider audience can now discover – or in some cases, rediscover – the simple pleasure of listening to an accomplished songbird doing what she does best. After an absence of many years from the recording studio, Fredette is offering up a new album on the Soundbrush label, the appropriately titled Everything In Time.
Fredette has been singing for many years – since age 4, she says – and as an adult she spent a couple of decades as a very busy performer. She toured extensively and appeared alongside many well-known stars before settling into the New York area.
For her new album, she enlisted the aid of long-time friend David Finck, a polished and well-known bassist who also acted as producer. Since her plan was to include some selections that played to her love of Latin jazz, she also called on a number of established stars of that genre, including pianist Helio Alves and drummer Adriano Santos.
A number of other outstanding musicians helped create the music, including saxophonist Bob Malach and trumpeter Barry Danielian, but the spotlight here is mostly on Fredette. That’s as it should be, and whether it’s Latin jazz or the more traditional jazz standards that are also included on the album, her straight-ahead and melodic style fits perfectly.
Among the latter are very nice renditions of some of my favorites, including “The Way You Look Tonight,” which also features some strong work by Malach on sax, and the enjoyable “A Fine Romance.” The old Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields piece is given a little extra zing with Fredette’s playful treatment.
On the Latin side of things, I enjoyed Jobim’s “Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer),” which gives Fredette a chance to show her comfort with a classic Brazilian ballad. In a complete about-face, her playful performance on the delightful “O Pato (The Duck)” even features a few quacks — and yes, you read that right.
Those of just a few of the fifteen solid tracks included on this album, a good bet for anyone who appreciates the sound of jazz vocals well-performed by a skilled songbird.