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Carla Cook
Carla Cook
Based in New York but originally from Detroit, Carla Cook is an earthy yet sophisticated jazz singer who has strong R&B leanings. For Cook, being a jazz singer doesn't mean being a jazz purist or a jazz snob--there are elements of R&B, blues and gospel in her singing, and she is willing to put a jazz spin on songs that weren't written by jazz, traditional pre-rock pop or Tin Pan Alley composers. When it comes to popular music, some jazz vocalists limit themselves to the great Tin Pan Alley standards of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Cook, however, has been able to find the jazz potential in songs from the rock and R&B worlds--songs that have included Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair," Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Cook doesn't exclude Tin Pan Alley standards--as a rule, she will offer a few of them on her albums and live performances--but she isn't the sort of artist who believes that worthwhile popular music ended with composers like Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.
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