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Carol Fredette

Live performance reviews below
For CD reviews, click here to go to the Recordings page!

On June 30, Carol Fredette was right at the peak of her considerable performing powers at The Iridium, as she swung through an 11-song first set backed by Andy Ezrin on piano, David Finck on bass and Jim Saporito on drums... She swings with a hipness rarely seen in these times, and then can absolutely milk the emotional depths of a ballad... A set by Fredette almost always includes some Jobim tunes, and this was no exception. She performed "Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer)," "Chovendo Na Roseira (Double Rainbow)," and "Desafinado (Off Key)," all three selections with English lyrics by Gene Lees. Fredette sang both the Portuguese and English lyrics for these songs. Among the enthusiastic audience was the composer of "I've Got Just About Everything," Bob Dorough. This song pretty much summed up the way Fredette handled all of her material, for she can sing just about everything that comes along…It felt just right when Fredette concluded her set with an up tempo "Old Devil Moon," providing a perfect exclamation point for a great set by one of the few true jazz singers on the scene today.
Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz: Caught in the Act, September 2010

Link to Complete Review

"In one of her too-rare appearances, Carol Fredette packed them in at Birdland on Memorial Day night. Backed by the superb trio of Andy Ezrin, piano, David Finck, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums, the lady who is among the handful who can truly be called a jazz singer held her audience's rapt attention from start to finish of a long and varied a generous sampling of songs from her brand-new CD, Everything in Time (Soundbrush). And everything indeed was in time, and in tune, from swingers to ballads. Among many standouts was a song new to this listener, Michel Legrand and the Bergmans' poignant I Was Born In Love With You. Commendably, Fredette included the seldom heard verse of I Wish I Knew. Among the nods to Brazil was a humorous O Pato, but in a contrasting mood, her rendition of Last Night When We We Were Young was as heartfelt as it gets; the man from Hoboken would have approved. Fredette opened with a sprakling rendition of Bob Dorough's For No Rhyme Or Reason, and its irrepressible auteur, called up for a couple of his specials, joined her for a rousing finale on "Devil May Care." That, needless to say, launched cheers and a standing ovation. To coin a phrase, it was a night to remember. It's great to have that new CD, but we need Fredette live more often!"
Dan Morgenstern, author, historian, jazz critic

"One holiday weekend in Birdland, Carol Fredette was cookin'...always inventive, Fredette displayed her vibrant tableau of Brazilian, rhythm, witty and emotional favorites...sensuous "Vivo Sohando"...outstanding phrasing...physically and vocally expressive, her deliveries are intense, intimate, communicative...sometimes playful. "Last Night When We Were Young," convincing and beautifully rendered. Listening to Fredette's infectious swing and sophisticated interpretations...delicious on any holiday."
Elizabeth Ahlfors, Cabaret Scenes, July/August 2009

Link to Complete Review

"Carol Fredette had a wildly successful evening at Birdland, May 25th...an intriguing cult figure...the pure art of storytelling. Carol Fredette walked on the Birdland stage with beauty, confidence and poise and proceeded to wow the packed audience for an hour of pure entertainment...Here is a jazz interpreter who is also a fine actress, her focus held throughout each number-always mindful to vary the color of each tune. There was a refreshing lack of artifice throughout. The lady's purpose is to serve the song and entertain the audience."
Charles Cochran, Birdland: SINATRA MUSIC SOCIETY (Dublin branch), June 1, 2009

"Fredette immediately established that she knows how to get to the heart of a lyric...Fredette is probably the best interpreter of these two gentlemen (Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough) other than the songwriters themselves. Another ongoing part of Fredette's repertoire is the inclusion of several Brazilian songs in her set list..."Kisses," "Love Dance" and "Madelena," (all by Ivan Lins)..."O Pato," having quite a playful time with John Hendricks playful lyrics. Her takes on "I'm Gonna Laugh you Right out of my Life," "Everything I Love" and "Last Night When We Were Young" were simply exquisite ballad singing. WHen it comes to swinging, she is right on top of the game. Good examples of that facet of her artistry were "You Turned the Tables on Me" and "A Fine Romance." When Fredette finished the second act with "Old Devil Moon," you sat there feeling that you were experiencing the end of one of those evenings that you hoped would go on forever.
Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz, December 2009

CAUGHT IN THE ACT, a review of Carol Fredette's CD release performance at THE IRIDIUM, February 4th, 2009
"Carol Fredette is among the upper echelon of current jazz vocalists. Fredette really gets to the heart of a lyric...she is an enthusiastic and free-spirited presence, filled with inventive artistry and good humor. Fredette invests her material with the kind of freshness that she brings to every song she chooses to sing. Her enthusiastically received new album, "Everything In Time," on Soundbrush Records, and the great word of mouth from performances like those at The Iridium, will put her into the spotlight that she deserves."
Joe Lang, Jazz Improv NY

"Soundbrush Records has snared one of New York's vocal legends, and produced one of the most notable sessions of the year. Versatility is a tired word among music writers, but it must be employed when alluding to Fredette's vast Brazilian repertoire and her enormous success recording the hip humor of Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough. This great breadth of conquests is one of the reasons Fredette has become one of Gotham's leading teachers of vocal music aspirants. From the torrid opener (Dorough's "Without Rhyme Or Reason") to standards such as Porter's "Dream Dancing" and Kern's "The Way You Look Tonight" to Brazilian classics such as Jobim's "Vivo Sonhando" to Kenny Loggins' "Wait A Little While," Fredette gives listeners a lesson in the art of performing a comprehensive repertoire. All of the elements are there – poetic phrasing, emotional intensity and sheer musicality."
-Nick Catalano, author of New York Nights, music critic, educator

Link to Original Review

"Everything's here...Carol sings her way through 15 songs that will thrill you as it did me. "I Wish I Knew" (Gordon-Warren) swings as never before. "Last Night When We Were Young" (Arlen-Harburg)...an absolute vocal masterpiece, almost spoken at times, conveying the true meaning and understanding of Harburg's exquisite, everlasting poetry. Her novel and original approach on "Pieces Of Dreams" will leave you breathless. Carol understands the great songs she sings, and it certainly shows in this absolutely perfect and faultless long-awaited feel-good CD."
In Tune International

JAZZ REVIEW: Carol Fredette
"Carol Fredette has always been a singer who gets to the essence of a song, but this album keeps you enraptured on many other levels, too. There is the sense of intimacy throughout, the almost talk-sing phrasing on the ballads and the carefree joy of swinging on several Brazilian tunes and a jazz standard or two. Fredette draws you inside yourself on ballads like "Would You Believe?" (Cy Coleman-James Lipton) and "Last Night When We Were Young" (Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg). Then she turns witty and sunny on a fast samba such as "O Pato (The Duck) by Jayme Shilva and Neuza Teixeira, with English lyrics by Jon Hendricks. "A Fine Romance" by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields bounces along comfortably and shows how casually artful Fredette is with the irony of the lyrics."
Owen Cordle, News & Observer

"She's as good as they come"
Stan Getz

"Carol Fredette is everything you need in a jazz singer. She thinks, swings and phrases like a creative instrumentalist, yet her way with words captures the essence of a lyric."
Dan Morgenstern, author, jazz historian and critic  

"Miss Fredette brings a bracingly taut sense of line, perfect diction and fine-tuned dynamics to everything she touches…"
Stephen Holden, New York Times

"You spend aeons trying to find other jazz singers who can cut her. You never find them. She's simply in a class by herself."
Nicholas Catalano, All About Jazz

"One of the most formidable singers of popular music."
New York Daily News

"Deep, spicy and silky voiced… sensual and funny. When she sings, the concentration is total, the emotions heartbreaking."
Renaud Machart, Le Monde

"She's both a skillful, inventive improviser and a good story-teller—by no means a common combination among jazz singers."
Peter Keepnews, New York Post

"Sublime enunciation and skilled dynamics…highly stylized, albeit understated…witty and sophisticated, does it all without gimmicks and with a sound that belongs only to her."
John Hogland, Backstage

"Remarkably, she maintains a delicate but controlled equilibrium of dynamics, phrasing, tone, tasteful use of freedom, and wonderful sense of swing."
Dr.Herb Wong, Jazz Educator's Journal

"She delivers a performance as definitive and riveting as any I've ever heard."
Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence Magazine

"Carol Fredette generated power through understatement…she swings hard…an uncommonly musical vocalist."
Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe

"She uses husky tones of her voice and her strong, rich bottom range with excellent effect, making dark, cavernous descents that have an impact like Harry Carney's baritone saxophone."
John Wilson, New York Times

"She's an intensely musical singer. Her voice is strong and supple, able to explore extremes of register and color. She combines imagination with an acute ear…enfolding her listeners in a mantle of warm intimacy. Unforgettable."
Richard Sudhalter, New York Post

"Fredette sings like a woman possessed. When Al Cohn and Fredette get into the act, Milestones swings as never before."
Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

"Her versatile voice purred softly and mixed Portuguese scat to a hot Latin beat…Fredette joined (Carol) Sloane for a set-closing jam, which the two voices heated up like saxophones locked in battle at an after hours cutting session."
J.Royal Stokes, Washington Post

"Hank Jones/Al Cohn quintet, featuring vocalist Carol Fredette, bassist Michael Moore and drummer Charlie Persip...there isn't a weak link among them. More important is how well they mix"
Stuart Troup, Newsday

"Brilliant and always compelling, performed with a sense of taste and deep emotion that just wipes you out. She is pure magic."

"A remarkable lady – a real "jazz woman" – an absolute must."
Jean-Michel Reisser, One More Time-Geneva, Switzerland

"Staggeringly powerful."
Jim Baxter, Spectator Magazine

"Carol Fredette recalls greatness in the art of jazz singing."
Owen Cordle, Jazz Times

"Miss Fredette's reading of the Kern songs was so luminous that….I only wish that she and (Steve) Kuhn might record a two-album set before a live audience so that everyone could own a definitive interpretation of this great songwriter's work."
R.C. Smith, Durham Morning Herald

"She's first and foremost a brilliant vocalist."

Album Reviews:

LOVE DANCE (Devil Moon Records)
"A confident and fully mature vocal style, a richly textured voice, a truly astonishing dynamic and tonal range, and an infectious sense of swing and time. Carol uses these resources for both musical and dramatic effect. Her understanding of melodic construction allows her to explore the internal harmonies of a song, where she discovers insightful new approaches to the tune. Her technique seems completely under her control, deliberate and purposeful, and at the same time spontaneous, surprising, adventurous, daring."
Gary Shivers - WUNC Radio, Chapel Hill, NC

"In the Shadows" presents the listener with art that is close to perfection." 
Le Jazz, Diapason-Les Compant de mois, Paris

"Fredette and Kuhn manage feats that are unique and rarely attainable."
Nicholas Catalano, Author, critic, music educator

EVERYTHING I NEED - Carol Fredette sings Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough
"She inhabits these songs with the kind of bright infectious hipness that the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross used to convey. And she does it all without scatting. "She is even better than the rave reviews she has gotten everywhere else...a master of nuance. Superb - 4 stars."
Owen Cordle, News and Observer (Raleigh)

"Carol Fredette is a jazz vocalist in classic style, singing with a surety of tone and deep appreciation for lyrical intelligence….She turns her inventive flexible phrasing on Dorough's "I've Got Just About Everything," making his idiosyncratic melody truly her own."
Drew Wheeler, CDNOW

AND THEN IT HAPENED with David Matthews
Swing Journal

"The purpose is always to make the song more meaningful."
Gary Shivers, WUNC Radio, Chapel Hill, NC

****She gives you hope for the world, September 5, 1999 By A Customer
"Carol Fredette is absolutely the best, most creative, elegant, earthy, in tune and in control, dreamy, sensual, vibrant (without all that "vibrato"), moving vocalist I have ever heard. What a full moon is to romance, what Evil Knieval is to dare-deviling, what Moms Mabley is to a good laugh, Carol Fredette is to a song. She's a sweetie and a brat, but ALWAYS, ALWAYS a great artist. With the rhapsodic Steve Kuhn beside her, the whole band swings to the kinds of quirky songs only Frishberg and Dorough could have written with their kookie sensibilities and wide intelligence. This CD has the snap, crackle and pop that most jazz singers only dream of. Don't miss out."

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