Quarter 'Til Three
Kimberly Carper, Quarter 'til three By Ken Micallef - Downbeat Magazine For many singers, recording their debut CD is a nail-biting coming out party. There are so many things to think about. Beyond the selection of material and the rigors of recording there is that little voice inside your head that can make you second guess your own best instincts. But for 27-year-old Kim Carper, creating the music on her first CD, Quarter Til Three, was pure pleasure. "My goal was to make a record of the music I love," Kim explains from the Charlotte home she shares with husband/drummer Donnie Marshall. "I wanted to include songs that just felt good. That has always been important to me, performing music that embraces people as it embraces me, whether it's jazz, rock, or classical." Quarter Til Three certainly feels good, even great. Due in no small part to the sympathetic vibes between Kim, Donnie, and fellow musicians Van Sachs (guitar), Tim Gordon (bass), Tim Smith (tenor saxophone), and Mark Stallings (keyboards), the album flows like a river - cool, soulful, and with it's share of surprising twists and turns. With Kim lending her warm, lush vocals to songs by such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Mercer and Arlen, Goffin & King and Christine McVie, Quarter Til Three is easy to groove to, easy to relax with and easy on the ear. Kim is a singer's singer, and an instrumentalist's singer. Her graceful phrasing, informed by such icons as Bonnie Raitt and Ella Fitzgerald, is coupled with a vocal gravitas born of years spent studying one of her favorite musical forms, German lieder, particularly Mahler's Kindertotenlieder ("it's sad and deep and it rips your heart out," she laughs). Add a life long addiction to Michael Bolton and you have a singer for whom musical borders are just something to be broken. But even great singers need more than vocal talent. They need that indescribable something that draws a listener, making them forget, even for a moment, their cares and enchanting them with the spell only a gifted performer can conjure. Kim's performances (covering jazz and pop standards) let audiences experience her way with song, and her way with winning a crowd. Kim Carper has tackled the challenge of her debut with the same confidence and warmth that makes Quarter Til Three such an easy, good-grooving listen. .