She was off the scene for years, but Carol Sloane is back and sounding gorgeous. On Wednesday night at Jazz Standard, she and Bill Charlap made music of such delicacy, serenity, and elegance that it was a healing experience. Bill's imagination is endless, and Carol is still spinning her silky threads of sound and swinging in her airy way. With this caliber of jazz singing now so rare, what they did together seemed more special than ever.
James Gavin, January 2017
Carol Sloane, “Dearest Duke” (Arbors)—There’s no place for Sloane to hide on this intimate set, and that works out just fine for this underrated veteran singer. Accompanied only by piano and Ken Peplowski’s clarinet and saxophone, Sloane glides over imperishable Ellington ballads, treating each with the blend of delicacy and solidity that only a skilled vocalist can conjure. It’s minimalist magic.
The New Yorker, January 24, 2008
At every turn in these familiar tunes, she discovers new colors and seams of
meaning that we didn't know were there. This is the finest vocal album I've
heard all year, and if Carol Sloane isn't America's greatest living jazz
singer, then no one deserves the title.
Carol Sloane doesn't so much sing a song as bestow it a state of grace.
Dearest Duke (Arbors): The other outstanding vocal album of the year is Ms. Sloane's latest and most heartfelt collection of Ellingtonia. The nod almost went to Andy Bey's new Birdland set, but the presence of the brilliant clarinetist Ken Peplowski on every track puts Ms. Sloane over the top.
-- Will Friedwald
Jazz To Remember And To Remind: The Best Jazz of 2007
New York Sun
"Miss Sloane drew out the lyrics in long, humming syllables that showed off the resiliance of her smoky contralto with its soft, spinning vibrato. She made honoring your past synonymous with valuing life itself."
-- Stephen Holden, NY Times 2/17/2005
To put it another way, she may, in her sixties, be the youngest
extant singer to have worked with Benny Goodman. She's also about the
best-regarded female jazz singer in the United States, and on Tuesday
night's evidence she deserves to be.
"I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me," sang Carol Sloane for her first
number in front of an enraptured audience that has packed every square
centimetre of the Senator during her three-night reign as vocal queen of the
Downtown Jazz Festival.
"When Carol Sloane sings at the Village Vanguard, as she did last month, it's like
hearing the concentrated essence of a half-century's worth of jazz in
"There are singer's singers, and then there are singer's singers' singers. Here's one of the latter group, who may know the tricks of the trade but never condescends to use them. "
-- Village Voice, January, 2004
" ... sounds years, even decades young ... lends that full, round, delightfully robust tone of hers to eleven different shades of romantic reflection"
--Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times, December, 2003
"Ms. Sloane is one of the great living masters of traditional jazz singing, the style perfected by Ella Fitzgerald."
--Will Friedwald, The New York Sun, Apr 25, 2003
"The blueprint for a perfect vocal jazz CD: Take a collection of superb,
seldom heard songs, recruit a group of world class jazz musicians, find a charismatic
vocalist who is both an accomplished improviser and a master interpreter of lyrics,
and have her sing with intelligence, wit, insight, creativity and heart. Or simply
listen to this set, which could serve as a Ph.D. course in the art of jazz singing."
"Carol Sloane has been quietly recording quality albums of jazz standards..."
"...she showed why she may be the most complete jazz singer working today."
"...she has never made a bad record."
" Eleven tunes featuring singer Carol Sloane's whispering intimacy
instantly create a cozy mood, for the Sloane sound is all measured
steadiness, with perfect pitch and just enough edge to pique interest."
"...Ms. Sloane does not make bad records."
"The contrasting opening numbers of this latest Sloane set attest
to her indisputable place among the very small number of first rank jazz singers."
"Fortunately, she is enjoying a revival."
"Through sheer tenacity and the application of a vocal talent that has steadily ripened with the passing years, Carol Sloane has become one of the grandes dames of jazz singing. Her knowing interpretations of lyrics and sly phrasing should be closely studied by the new generation of chanteuses."
-- The New Yorker, Aug. 20 & 27, 2001
"The lady simply sings, and the warmth of her voice, the subtlety of her musical
phrasing and a refreshingly varied repertoire contribute to an hour of song that would enhance anyone's
[summer] evening. "
"Instead of pyrotechnics she strives for an ideal mixture of clarity, emotional balance and buoyancy.....As
much as any singer of her generation, Ms. Sloane understands the value of restraint. Even in the most
animated numbers, her voice never rises above a conversational level. Her ballads convey with a quiet
authority the assimilated wisdom of a woman who has been there, done that and moved on. She luxuriates in
her introspective material, savoring the lyrics and lingering over the ends of phrases in a sweet humming
"... lending every line she sings a feeling of mystery.
It's another trait that makes her, at age 64, the youngest
of the great ladies on the Mount
Rushmore of jazz singing."
"Sloane is a fine jazz singer, capable of first putting across a
melody straight, with excellent diction and intonation, and then
offering tasteful embellishments with a satisfying sense of swing."
"Joe Williams once told me that he had the most respect for what he called "the survivors" ... musicians and singer-musicians who have not allowed themselves to be discouraged out of their true calling by slow and hard times. Carol Sloane is a survivor. Another thing survivors have going for them is that they know more ... about themselves and about the world ... and all that they know goes into their music."
Nat Hentoff, Liner Notes for "Love You Madly", Contemporary CCD-14049-2
"Carol sings handsomely throughout, and renders singers and listeners a great service in hewing to the verses, so often neglected, on great songs."
"Sloane surrenders to this simple, flawless song [Moonlight In Vermont] with such sincerity that she implies whole territories of emotional nuance."
"Vet jazz great Carol Sloane displayed the subtle skill and economy of her art with a breezy "Aren't You Glad You're You" ... "
Daily Variety, Los Angeles
"Strong on melody lines and light on scat, Sloane is an adept performer with uptempo, jazz-tinged ballads."
The Herald, Everett, Wash.
"A successful homage to the 50's classics. This melancholy retrospective [The Songs Ella and Louis Sang] is turned into an hour of swinging, humorous, elegant and lyrical jazz entertainment."
Jazzpodium, Hamburg, Germany
"But it was Sloane's singing, a potent reminder of the connections between vocal and instrumental jazz, that made the performance a creative success."
Los Angeles Times
"She is one of our very best singer/actresses, bridging the cabaret/jazz spectrum with a seeming ease born of absolute authority and a crisp intelligence."
"Sloane is terrific throughout, and with her warm, tender and sensuous sounds, she doesn't need to sound like Ella."
The Star, Toronto
"She can play around with the best, scat like an instrumentalist, and suspend a final tone into infinity."
The Boston Globe
"Carol Sloane's following is out in force this week to hear a vintage vocalist whose singing ranges from pure velvet to delightful whimsy to controlled intensity."
"Carol Sloane is one of the best jazz vocalists ... with sterling technique, vocal warmth and dancing rhythms."
The Boston Phoenix
"Sloane sings and swings with wonder and grace."
The Hamilton (Ont.) Spectator
"One of the true jazz singers"
Telegram-Tribune, San Luis Obispo
"Carol Sloane is one of our great jazz vocalists."
"Carol Sloane's singing was so simple, direct and true, she out-shined a number of better-known artists."
New York Post
"If you are a jazz singer looking to enter cabaret, Sloane is the singer to study. Her readings are all sung without a hint of cliche, treated just as good old friends ought to be. Sloane is in a class by herself .... a consummate interpreter who has a rare ability to reside within a song, making it her own with such simplicity that you don't notice the incredible craft it takes to sing it so effortlessly."
Back Stage, New York, NY
"Carol Sloane a Surprise Jazz Discovery."
New York Law Journal
"Carol Sloane displays exquisite taste and more in her show at Rainbow and Stars. Sloane brings a warmth and generosity of spirit to her material."
Staten Island Advance
"Sloane has achieved expressive directness without losing the bright canter of her Ella-inspired time. She chooses unfailingly worthy songs, parses meanings from the lyrics, and honors the melody."
Gary Giddins, The Village Voice
"You sing as wonderfully as ever. I honestly think you are the best girl singer alive."
Robert Parker, Author
Robert Parker practices what he preaches: He has cited Carol Sloane in three books featuring Spenser, his famous Boston detective: "Ceremony" (Dell 1982), "Hush Money" (Putnam 1999) and "Potshot" (Putnam 2001)