September 02, 1991 12:00 PM

Carmen McRae

It would be nice if this tribute to Sarah Vaughan did justice to the Divine One. But McRae’s renditions of songs associated with the woman known as sassy—”Misty,” “Tenderly,” “Poor Butterfly,” “Dedicated to You”—invoke no pleasing memories.

McRae begins well enough, with a swinging, insouciant “I’ve Got the World on a String,” ending the song with a quite justified “yeah.” What follows, however, aside from the shimmering contribution of the Shirley Horn trio, warrants several firm nos.

McRae’s “Misty,” for example, contains so many repeated-for-effect phrases (“You can say/ You can say/ Just what I want you to/ Just what I want you…”) one becomes convinced that CDs can be scratched. Equally aggravating are McRae’s chronic pauses.

It doesn’t take long to get disenchanted with the entire mannered enterprise. (RCA Novus)”

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