PRESS RELEASES

Blue Engine Records Announces “Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops” | Available in Stores, Online, and Streaming on March 29, 2019

Blue Engine Records Announces
Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops
Never Before Released Live Recording of Betty Carter Performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1992
Available In Stores, Online, and
Streaming on March 29, 2019
Blue Engine Records announces the release of some of the earliest material ever recorded by Jazz at Lincoln Center–jazz trailblazer and vocalist Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops. This live performance at New York’s Aaron Davis Hall was recorded in 1992, six years before Carter’s untimely passing and during the early days of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Music Never Stops marks Carter’s first posthumous album as well as the artist’s first release composed entirely of previously unheard material in 22 years (the last being “I’m Yours, You’re Mine” in 1997). The first single from The Music Never Stops,“Tight! / Mr. Gentleman,” is available for streaming and download on all mass-market digital platforms on Friday, February 1. Betty Carter’s The Music Never Stops will be released, 27 years to the date of the historic performance, on March 29, 2019 and is available for preorder on Amazon today.
The long-running debate over what defines a jazz singer simply dissolves when Betty Carter’s name comes up. She transcended the entire category and took her place in the music pantheon as one of jazz’s most profound and game-changing innovators. Her impact was pervasive: not only did she influence a wide range of artists with her music, but the “University of Betty Carter” stands alongside Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as one of the jazz world’s elite finishing schools, training many of today’s most acclaimed jazz artists.
Carter challenged herself throughout her entire career, but the concert captured on The Music Never Stops represents perhaps the pinnacle of her musical ambitions. Harnessing a full jazz orchestra, a string section, and three distinct piano trios, Carter delivered a stunning tour-de-force performance that until now only lived in the memories of the enthralled and highly responsive audience members who were fortunate enough to have been there.
The orchestra Carter enlisted include such stalwarts as Robin Eubanks, Art Baron, Jerry Dodgion,Alex Foster, and Lew Soloff. Pianists John Hicks, Geri Allen, and Cyrus Chestnut; bassists Lisle Atkinson and Ariel Roland; and drummers Kenny Washington, Greg Hutchinson, and Clarence Penn filled out the three swinging rhythm sections. Many of the participants were Carter’s former students, and all of the rhythm section players were members of her various trios.
Betty Carter’s magnificent performance was a massive and ambitious undertaking. The Music Never Stops proved to be an apt title, as over the course of two hours it never did. She darted back and forth between the different ensembles, transitioning seamlessly and effortlessly between burning bebop and deeply felt ballads, wearing out the musicians with her stamina. The album highlights the legendary Carter’s many talents: mesmerizing balladry, exhilarating swing, impeccable lyricism, stunning improvisation, and her unparalleled ability to build both a narrative and a mood by spontaneously weaving jazz standards and her own genius material together. For example, a 16-minute medley of what Carter calls “question songs”—“Why Him?,” “Where or When,” and “What’s New?”—takes three seemingly disparate standards and crafts a seamless, epic narrative of love found, lost, and (maybe) found again. Carter’s originals like “30 Years” and “Make Him Believe” offer up inventive and unsparing treatments of modern love, challenging gender norms and constructing narrative tapestries in a way that’s still visionary today.
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPS TRACK LISTING:
1. “Ms. B.C.”
Written by Pamela Watson
Arranged by Bobby Watson
Personnel: The Big Band*
Soloists: Alex Foster (tenor saxophone), Kamau Adilifu (trumpet)
2. “Make It Last”
Written by Dick Haymes
Arranged by Melba Liston
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*, The Strings**
3. “30 Years”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)
4. “Why Him? / Where or When / What’s New?”
“Why Him?”
Written by Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)
“Where or When”
Written by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)
“What’s New?”
Written by Bob Haggart & Johnny Burke
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)
5. “Tight! / Mr. Gentleman”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums)
6. “Social Call”
Written by Qusim Basheer & Jon Hendricks
Arranged by Gigi Gryce
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*
Soloists: Lou Marini (tenor saxophone)
7. “Moonlight in Vermont”
Written by John M Blackburn & Karl Suessdorf
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*
8. “The Good Life”
Written by Sacha Distel, Jean Broussolle & Jack Reardon
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
9. “Bridges”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
10. “If I Should Lose You”
Written by Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Geri Allen (piano)
11. “Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love”
Written by Cole Porter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
Includes interpolation of:
“Everything I Have Is Yours”
Written by Harold Adamson & Burton Lane
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Ariel Roland (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
12. “Make Him Believe”
Written by Betty Carter
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), The Strings**, Geri Allen (conductor)
13. “Frenesi”
Written by Alberto Dominguez & Leonard Whitcup
Arranged by Gigi Gryce
Personnel: Betty Carter (vocals), The Big Band*
Personnel:
The Trios
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Ariel Roland – bass
Clarence Penn – drums
John Hicks – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Kenny Washington – drums
Featuring
Geri Allen – piano
Greg Hutchinson – drums
The Big Band *
Jerry Dodgion – alto saxophone
Rick Wald – alto saxophone
Alex Foster – tenor saxophone
Lou Marini – tenor saxophone
Joe Temperley – baritone saxophone
Art Baron – trombone
Robin Eubanks – trombone
Joe Randazzo – trombone
Lew Soloff – trumpet
Earl Gardner – trumpet
Ron Tooley – trumpet
Kamau Adilifu – trumpet
John Hicks – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Kenny Washington – drums
The Strings **
Jeanne LeBlanc – cello
Akua Dixon – cello
Julie Green – cello
Bruce Wang – cello
John Beal – bass
Dave Finck – bass
About Blue Engine Records:
Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s platform that makes its vast archive of recorded concerts available to jazz audiences everywhere, launched on June 30, 2015. Blue Engine Records releases new studio and live recordings as well as archival recordings from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performance history that date back to 1987 and are part of the R. Theodore Ammon Archives and Music Library. Since the institution’s founding in 1987, each year’s programming is conceived and developed by Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis with a vision toward building a comprehensive library of iconic and wide-ranging compositions that, taken together, make up a canon of music. These archives include accurate, complete charts for the compositions—both old and new—performed each season. Coupled with consistently well-executed and recorded music performed by Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, this archive has grown to include thousands of songs from hundreds of concert dates. The launch of Blue Engine is aligned with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s efforts to cultivate existing jazz fans worldwide and turn new audiences onto jazz.
For more information on Blue Engine Records, visit blueenginerecords.org.