Open the Door

The Life and Music of Betty Carter

Subjects: History, American History, Music, Jazz, Biography
Paperback : 9780472067916, 440 pages, 16 photographs, 20 illustrations, 6 x 9, March 2003
Ebook : 9780472125333, 456 pages, 16 photographs, 20 illustrations, 6 x 9, November 2021
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Presents the lifelong influence of Betty Carter's career and her music on the music world

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Copyright © 2002, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted April 2005.

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Betty Carter's lifelong influence on the music world is unparalleled. Her contributions to music as a jazz singer, composer, arranger, and teacher have fostered a generation of musicians and fans.
This book looks at Betty Carter's contribution to the music world and delves behind the scenes to show Carter's growth as a businesswoman who took charge of her career.
Drawing upon revealing interviews with Carter, the author shows how ever-changing shifts in the music industry affected the singer's life and influenced her music. Bauer shows through his analysis of her musical examples how Carter absorbed various musical influences, from Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday to Miles Davis, and made them her own. From her apprenticeship with Gladys Hampton, Carter grew to become a shrewd dealer who learned to do her own contracting, A&R, and marketing and distribution. By chronicling one of jazz's great singers and composers, the book sheds light on how early jazz musicians got their work to the public and how this process has changed during the past fifty years.
William R. Bauer is Assistant Professor of Music at Rutgers University-Newark, where he directs the Rutgers Newark Student Jazz Ensemble, MOSAIC, and teaches in the Jazz History and Research program. He has written several articles about jazz vocal performance and scat singing, as well as various aspects of music education. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe and include works for the theater and dance.