And she as of this recording is still going strong, eighty-something, making this vocal album with her daughter Catherine Russell, a beautiful singer herself and the subject of praise on these blog pages--you check, I'm writing this at 3AM! The songs were recorded between 2008-2011 and they bear witness to a masterful vocalist whose voice has deepened and become ever more burnished, somehow stronger than ever.
She goes through a very interesting set of songs here, from bop to movements from Mary Lou William's Mass, which Carline sang years ago on the original recording, Thad Jones's "A Child is Born" and some rousing gospel duets with her daughter. As a special bonus we have the 1961 demo "Lucille," written by Luis Russell for Louis Armstrong to sing to his wife. It never happened but the demo is something else. It's a rewardingly wide-ranging set sung with soul, grace and elegance.
Carline Ray still had it! She had boiled it down over the years and we get her very essence. Listen and you'll get there. Alas I just read that Carline Ray passed on last month. She was 89. May she rest in peace. All sympathies to her family. This recording captures her in her last years, in full flower. That's how we should remember her.