Jazz vocalist Carla Cook is sensational. Her music touches your heart in a special way. I met her at the Monterey Jazz Festival and she is so cool and super nice. If you do not have her latest MAXJAZZ release, Simply Natural, run out get it along with Dem Bones and It’s All About Love. Please welcome Carla to the j-notes Jazz Lounge.
j-notes.com: Your musical selections cover all genres of music. How would you describe your singing style?
Carla Cook: “I’d describe the style as jazz with the influences of all I’ve been exposed to during my lifetime. European, Classical, Religious, Classic R&B (particularly Motown since I grew up in Detroit during that era.”)
j-notes.com: When did you know that you wanted to sing and if you were not singing, what would you be doing?
Carla Cook: “It’s difficult to say. However, I enjoyed teaching Social Studies and more recently I’ve developed a passion for gardening. I think being a landscaper could have been in the cards!”
j-notes.com: How do select the gospel hymns that are included on your albums? Would you consider doing an album of jazz infused gospel hymns?
Carla Cook: “I try to include one “inspirational” song on each CD. The first,”Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand” was chosen because it was a favorite of my late Mom’s. “Come Ye Disconsolate” was one of my favorites as a child, and “Something ‘Bout Believing” comes from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Series and just seemed appropriate after 9/11. It’s music for the world, and not just people of any one faith.”
“As far as an album of jazz infused gospel hymns, I don’t know. I’m not a pure gospel singer. Though I do know a lot of hymns, my repertoire is really filled more with spirituals and anthems. I grew up in the CME church, (Christian Methodist Episcopal). I will however, continue to include something inspirational on my recordings.”
j-notes.com: Who would like to sing a duet with?
Carla Cook: “What a fun question! I’d like to sing a duet with lots of folks. Maybe Freddie Cole, Keb’ Mo or Bonnie Raitt. I recently did a double bill with Lucky Peterson. We’d planned an informal duet, but time ran short and it didn’t happen. But who knows?”
j-notes.com: When will you be going back into the studio?
Carla Cook: “I’d like to go back into the studio the early part of next year. Gathering ideas right now.”
j-notes.com: Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?
Carla Cook: “I’m open about the kinds of musical experiences I’d like to accumulate. Certainly I’d like to still be recording music that I love, but also perhaps soundtracks, a few fun jingles. I don’t know that I’d like to constantly be traveling though. That’s kind of tough – I do want a “regular” home life. You know, husband, maybe children, and a dog.”
j-notes.com: How well did you do with your gardening this year?
Carla Cook: “Glad you asked!! My garden was fantastic and unfortunately, the summer’s about over. My flowers are beautiful and give me much joy. I’ve also got a bumper crop of grape tomatoes. The collards were eaten by something or other during a road trip. Also, I’ve got wonderful mint and have treated my guests to a special Mint Lemonade. You’ll have to come out here and try it!!”
Thanks Carla and continued blessings to you!!!