MP3 Margaret Carlson - Once In A Blue Moon
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13 MP3 Songs
EASY LISTENING: Crooners/Vocals, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals
Reviews of live performances and her first CD, 'Once in a Blue Moon'
Singer's first CD is "Once in Blue Moon"
"Once in a Blue Moon" is an appropriate title for Margaret Carlson's debut album after 10 years away from the music business. But than again it's not.
Fans of Carlson's smooth mellow jazz music will hope she records much more often then that. ..."
"Once in a Blue Moon" vocalist Margaret Carlson
makes her mark on collection of jazz
standards with her debut album
"Trying to catch a performance by jazz vocalist Margaret Carlson of Batavia in the past decade has been almost as tough as pinning down a shooting star, but thanks to the release of her debut album, the pleasure, though still rarefied, is within one's grasp. ...
"Carlson's appealing voice breathes rich interpretation into her lyrics, making each number sound fresh. With consummate control, her voice glides effortlessly from the soaring range of a 'A Sleepin' Bee' with lyrics by Truman Capote into the sultry territory of 'Come Rain or Come Shine.' ...
"The album's selection of songs reflects a sophisticated balance in tempo and mood. For a change of pace, some of the songs are accompanied sparely by piano and guitar. 'I'm very happy with how it turned out,' she said. ..."
"Music for People Who Need People"
benefit concert matches best of jazz
with the best of causes
"First-rate jazz and a first-rate cause are the harmonious pairing behind 'Music for People Who Need People,' a benefit concert this month for TriCity Family Services. ...
... Slipping into character for each of the songs, the award-winning Carlson has a silken voice and polished delivery that put her personal stamp on every number. It turned out to be a memorable night of music that ranged from mellow jazz, sultry sambas and high-flying scat and pure romance all the way to deep-down blues."
Mantooth, Carlson jazz it up
at private benefit for TCFS
"... It was not difficult to see why Mantooth sees such promise in the vocalist. Her style was the perfect fit for the mixture of melancholy love songs and be-bop fun on display through the night. ..."
West Michigan Jazz Society - The year in Review
"'Delicious ... delightful ...de-lovely!' She didn't sing Cole Porter, but vocalist Margaret Carlson certainly brought those lyrics to mind in her captivating performance at our 11th Annual Holiday Party on December 9th. ... They came early (right at 6 p.m.), not wanting to miss a moment of Miss M's sparkling personality, lilting voice and musically masterful arrangements. Most were culled from her self-produced CD by Chicago pianist/bandleader Frank Mantooth, featuring such great standards as 'Day By Day,' 'But Not For Me,' 'That's All' and a gala rendition of 'Tip Toe Thru the Tulips.' Needless to say, sales of the entitled 'Once in a Blue Moon' CD were brisk. ..."
Margaret Carlson's biography
Margaret Carlson is an exciting new voice in contemporary music today. Crediting such artists as Cleo Laine, Judy Garland, Duke Ellington and Chick Corea as major influences, Carlson has developed a free-spirited style all her own. Throughout her lifetime, she has relied on her considerable talent and ingenuity to cultivate a now-thriving recording career.
Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Carlson was introduced to music at an early age. "As a child, I was surrounded by music," she says. "My father loved to play the piano after dinner and whoever was around would join in. His favorite songs were from the 1920s. It could have been a scene right out of "The Sound of Music."
Throughout high school, she was drawn to music, performing in musicals and singing in her church choir. Soon after graduating from high school, Margaret joined a band called Summer and hit the road performing songs from groups like Cream and the Jefferson Airplane. The six-member band traveled throughout the Midwest and Northwest in a van and a station wagon.
"I was a nomad during that time in my life," Margaret says. Over the next several years, the station wagon was traded for another van and a truck, the band changed its name, (performing as Smokin' and Condor) members and repertoire to include songs by Steely Dan, Chick Corea and Heart. The band also had many places they called home, including Tacoma, Washington; Canoga Park, California and Superior, Wisconsin.
While living in Wisconsin, Margaret decided it was time to quit the band. "I needed a change, so I accepted a position as a bookkeeper," she said. During this period, she met and married her husband. The couple moved around the country, from Minnesota to Nebraska and ultimately settled in Florida.
"When we moved to Florida, I wanted to start singing again. I began frequenting area nightclubs and asking band members if I could sit in. This helped me make contacts and got me a few paid jobs. It was at one of these performances that I met Gene." Gene Hunt, a New York pianist living in Florida, specialized in the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. He made a tremendous impact on Margaret and, subsequently, her career.
"Gene and I had the same feeling about music, so we formed the Carlson-Hunt Duo," she said. "Gene introduced me to so many of the great standards. I became hooked on the lyrics and harmony of that great musical era."
The duo played six nights a week at local resorts for about four years until Carlson decided to start a family. "I never gave up my contacts in the music business and I never stopped practicing, but I put my career on hold to raise my two children. Once in a while I did an occasional party, but most people I knew had no idea I was a professional singer. I was known more for my attendance at P.T.A. functions."
In 1996, Carlson began to think about re-establishing her music career. She approached Frank Mantooth, a very successful Chicago-area jazz pianist. Frank had several Grammy nominations to his credit. She knew the time would come when she would want to work with Mantooth, so she worked out an agreement with him to help her with her first recording.
"Frank wanted to redecorate his apartment, but he had limited time between engagements," she says. "His two beautiful pianos, a Steinway and a Bosendorfer, stood among bookshelves made of concrete blocks and the wooden planks used to ship the Bosendorfer from Vienna! So I volunteered my time as contractor and decorator if he would do the arrangements on my first album."
Frank made good on the trade later that year and arranged 12 of the 13 songs on Margaret's first record, "Once in a Blue Moon." Margaret and engineer Freddie Breitberg finished mixing the album of mainstream jazz standards on the night of a blue moon. "We saw this as a good luck sign," Carlson recalls.
Carlson's second album, "This Christmas ... my favorite things," features arrangements by Mantooth, Dick Reynolds and Danny Embrey. "I am very proud of this recording. I surrounded myself with very talented people, and it shows in the final product.," Carlson says. "It is playful and sweet, but we also approached the traditional material with the reverence that it deserves."
Carlson currently resides in the Chicago area with her husband and their two children. "I feel that staying home to care for my children when they were young enriched my life and, ultimately, my talent. I had many years to rest my voice, practice and work on technique. My voice is stronger than ever and I am excited to be back in the swing of things."
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