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Rebecca Parris at Marblehead Summer Jazz

Marblehead, Mass., is a fishing village from a different era. In the present day, it hosts its own annual jazz festival every July. And since 1985, Rebecca Parris has come north from the Boston area each year to sing at Marblehead Summer Jazz. "God waves his magic wand to provide one of the most beautiful nights every year for me [at Marblehead]," she says.

Among Rebecca Parris' fans was the late great vocalist Carmen McRae. "A friend of mine gave me your album Love Comes and Goes, and I wanted to make sure you knew that you're in my road music, and you have to understand how important my road music is to me," McRae told Parris when they first met.

Parris also knew the fine Boston singer Carol Sloane. Together, they talked "about phrasing, and how to tell the story, and [how] the ... sentences go by and are broken up in musical phrases," according to Parris, also a long-time teacher. "If you don't listen to the entire story and pay attention to the sentence, how can you be a storyteller, and a singer?"

Another friend was Shirley Horn. She and Rebecca would often spend entire weekends together. One late night after a show at the Boston club Sculler's, she said to Parris, "You've got to get me another copy of Love Comes and Goes." She had loaned hers out –- and had never gotten it back.

Our Marblehead show closes with a free-floating song from pianist Kenny Werner's trio: "If I Should Lose You," with Scott Colley, bass, and Tom Rainey, drums.

Originally recorded July 7, 2007 at Marblehead Summer Jazz. Kenny Werner's performance recorded Aug. 4, 2007.


Rebecca Parris, vocals

Brad Hatfield, piano

Peter Kotrimas, bass

Jim Lattini, drums


Day by Day (Stordahl/Weston/Cahn)

Alone Together (Dietz/Schwartz)

He Was Too Good to Me (Rodgers/Hart)

It's Magic (Brackman/Ragovoy)

I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Rodgers/Hart)

This Is Always (Gordon/Warren)

East of the Sun (Brooks)


Recording courtesy of WGBH Radio / Boston, with field producer Steve Schwartz, recordings by Antonio Oliart & Alan Mattes.

Copyright 2021 WBGO. To see more, visit WBGO.