For decades, the voice of Jean Carne has been a crucial part of the American musical landscape, tying together generations of Jazz, Gospel, and R&B artists. As a solo artist, backing vocalist, and vocal coach, she has contributed to and collaborated with the likes of Norman Connors, Doug Carn, Dexter Wansel, Phyllis Hyman, Lonnie Liston Smith, Michael Jackson, and many more. At 74, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Many will recognize Carne from her output in the early 1970s, alongside her then-husband Doug Carn, for the lauded Black Jazz label. During this era of afrocentric creativity, the duo’s output found themselves at the nexus of jazz’s tectonic past decade and the fertile ground ahead. Without the constraints of genre or structure, artists such as Carne, on her Black Jazz output as well as on the saxophonist Azar Lawrence’s “Bridge Into The New Age” and percussionist Mtume’s “Rebirth Cycle”, began to explore and re-interpolate, continuing the tradition of jazz music as a mode of reinvention, repurposing, and reimagining.