Remembering Carol Sloane

March 5, 1937 – January 23, 2023

A tribute to the swinging jazz vocalist

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Jazz singer Carol Sloane passed away on Jan. 23, 2023 at the age of 85.

She was born on Mar. 5, 1937 in Providence, Rhode Island and was singing professionally by the time she was 14, performing with Ed Drew’s society jazz band.

As Carol Vann she recorded two duets with guitarist George Barnes in 1953 when she was 16.

After a short-term first marriage, Sloane returned to singing in 1958, toured with Les Elgart’s orchestra for two years, sometimes substituted for Annie Ross with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, and in 1961 was one of the hits of the Newport Jazz Festival.

Despite that success and recording an album (Out Of The Blue) for Columbia, it would take some time before Carol Sloane could work fulltime as a singer, often having a day job as a secretary.

In the late 1970s she made a comeback, recording fairly regularly from then on, spending time in New York, booking a supper club and hosting a radio show in North Carolina for two years, and eventually settling in Boston.

Carol Sloane, who considered Ella Fitzgerald to be her main inspiration, was active until ill health forced her gradual retirement around 2018-19.

Here she is circa 2000, swinging the heck out of “Lover Come Back To Me.”

– Scott Yanow


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