DOUG & JEAN CARN / “Infant Eyes”


Source: Infant Eyes (Black Jazz - 1972)

“Most of us know that this music is profound; even apocalyptic at times. However, it is so often approached on such a casual social and commercial level, we tend to ignore and overlook the stirrings within our souls and the voices of our ancestral ‘spirits’ that remind us of the fact, that there is a revelation of certain prophetic dimensions inherent in this music.”
–Doug Carn

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This is a songbook definition of classic. Uno: the whole album is great. Two: Doug Carn’s arrangement and the musicianship are first rate. Tatu: the lyrics are poetry. Yet, all of that great goodness is surpassed by the job that Jean Carn does as the featured vocalist.

In the Fifties, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Ella, and others following in their wake, mostly re-interpreted popular American songs: Tin Pan Alley, Broadway show tunes, and movie music. By the force of their creativity, they turned otherwise second-rate songs into standards. In fact, jazz musicians created the ‘standard.’

Then came the Sixties. A revolution. And of course the music was a hip reflector of the politics. Self determination. Jazz musicians wrote their own songs, not just new melodies fitted on top of pre-existing chord changes, as was the case with bebop and the morph from, for example, “Cherokee” to “Ko-Ko.” Under the influence of Trane, the object was not just to cover “My Favorite Things” but rather to express our own Love Supremes. By the Seventies, we were bequeathed a body of original jazz music. Doug Carn’s genius was fitting lyrics to this new music.

Additionally, this music was issued on the Black Jazz label, a self-determination effort of Black musicians to own and distribute their own music and not be dependent on the entertainment industry for production and distribution. The mid-Seventies were the high point of this social and musical movement.

In the late Seventies and on into the early Eighties, Jean had a moderately successful career as a pop vocalist, but most of her subsequent recorded solo work is forgettable. And Doug never did come up with another vocalist to do what Jean does with his lyrics and arrangements. They needed each other to complete each other. Even though they both were talented, together they were exquisite. Elegant. But you know, disco wasn’t hearing none of that. Anyway, it’s the combination of Doug’s lyrics and Jean’s vocals that makes this iconic early Seventies jazz record so moving.

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On the title cut, Jean’s breath control and dynamic range are astounding. So rich, so supple, this is the art of the jazz ballad: from expertly hit high notes to a hushed closing that is so tenderly voiced it could well be the last words of a mother who has just put her child to sleep.

“Infant Eyes,” now a staple jazz ballad, is a Wayne Shorter composition. There are hundreds of recorded versions of “Infant Eyes,” however Doug and Jean Carn outshine them all. Listen. Just listen. And if you can get to the album, listen to everything (especially Michael Carvin’s drumming and George Harper’s tenor and flute work). On Coltrane’s “Acknowledgement” (the first movement of the “A Love Supreme” suite), hear Jean Carn when she sings: “I’m warning you. I’m advising you that you had better get hip to a Love Supreme.”

—Kalamu ya Salaam

P.S. All of the Black Jazz recordings (including the three Doug & Jean Carn albums: Infant Eyes, Spirit of the New Land, Revelation) are now back in circulation available from the Black Jazz website: http://www.blackjazz.com

 

          The mistaken impression         

Before hearing this record, I was under the mistaken impression that Jean Carn was a pop singer, and a one-hit wonder at that. The only thing I knew by her was the monster jam “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head.” So it was a huge surprise to learn that Jean went on to record such intense and moving music with her husband, Doug. (Whom I also knew nothing about.)

Just as the initial surprise was settling in, I took a closer look at Kalamu’s header and realized that Jean didn’t ‘go on’ to record “Infant Eyes” after all. She actually recorded “Don’t Let It Go” six years AFTER she cut “Infant Eyes.” At first, I was mystified. How does an artist go from “Infant Eyes” and “Love Supreme: Acknowledgment” to “Don’t Let It Go”? (Not that there’s anything ‘wrong’ with “Don’t Let It Go”—it’s actually one of my favorite late-Seventies pop tunes, but still….) Then I started thinking about some of the iconic R&B artists from the late Sixties and early Seventies who continued recording into the Eighties: The Isley Bros., Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, etc. One thing they all have in common is they recorded profound, relevant and deeply meaningful music when the people and the times called for it, but eventually recorded relatively meaningless pop when the times stopped calling for meaning.

I know all of that, so the arc of Jean’s career shouldn’t have been such a surprise, but really — “I’m warning you / I’m advising you / That you had better get hip to a Love Supreme” to “Ooh whee! / Don’t let it go to your head / ‘Cause if you’re playing games / It would be a shame.” Hard to understand that.

—Mtume ya Salaam

 

          How Africans became Negroes         

I’m fumbling with an effort to be both concise and precise — to let you know how hard the Eighties were for many of us and why those were such hard times, and at the same time accurately show how all that pain is revealed in our music.

If you think back a minute, you remember when our family broke up, when I left the marriage. Look at that cover, that iconic family: father, mother, child (a kind of ‘true’ holy trinity: Madonna and child with father by their side). Look at the picture they make, the statement they make. I wonder what their child is doing today? How many contemporary artists picture themselves with child and spouse on the cover of their releases?

That album cover has all our dreams tied up in it. We imagined the new Afrikan family as the center of our then (or so we thought) emerging Afrikan nation. And then all the breakups came. The divorces. The splits. In retrospect I recognize that we cracked under the immense counter-revolutionary pressure of the American State with its hard, hard economic and political repression. Doug and Jean broke up too.

I don’t know the particulars of their separation, don’t need to know, and have no desire to speculate about the details, but what I do know is that just as their union was representative of our dreams, their breakup was representative of our defeats. And today our children wonder: what the hell happened, how could you go from a love supreme to a disco ball?

Well, survival is a mean and totally unsentimental task master. I know, I know, none of this seems to have anything to do with the music — but it does. The trajectory of dreams shot down is precisely a map of the descent of our music into the meaninglessness that is so endemic today. After America RE-defeated us (at least for the moment, we will rise again, but that, of course, is another story), anyway, where was I at? Oh yeah, after the fall, the capitalists moved in, indoctrinated us, and now, well now, everything is for sale, including how to become spiritual in a mega-church for $79.95 with an interactive CD-ROM.

If I sound bitter, it’s just me wiping away the blood. I almost wrote: you have no idea how much songs like “Infant Eyes” mean to your parents, but then I realized, to say that, is in truth to say, to very precisely say: we failed to communicate to our children and grandchildren the story of our dreams and realities, the sweetness of our momentary victories and the intense bile of our failures.

“Infant Eyes.” Listen to the lyrics again, which (need I remind you?) Doug wrote and Jean sang.

You never heard of Doug Carn, huh? Yeah, there are so many, so very many talented Black men we have never heard of, Black men the Seventies offered an opportunity to shine and the Eighties covered in the slime of commercialism. (See, there I go sounding bitter again.) Click here to read a Doug Carn bio: http://www.blackjazz.com/carn.html

I’m ‘a stop, but before I do, I just got to say: this is not simply the music of my youth, this is not just some nostalgic remembrance of ‘the good ol’ days’ (shit, someday, for some folk, 2005 will be the good ol’ days). No, we are talking something at a qualitatively different level, which, I guess, is what you are reacting to Mtume when you wonder in utter and honest amazement: how can one go from the beauty of “Infant Eyes” to disco. Well, it’s an old, old history story redux. How Africans became Negroes. How new Afrikans became New Jacks became… what we are today, whatever the hell that is.

Excuse me, I’m going to listen to “Infant Eyes” one more time.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

 

          Ok, so there’s more         

I had not planned to go into this so deeply but now that I’ve started, I’ve got to go a little further. Doug Carn has a new album that is available on the Black Jazz label. But it’s Jean I want to follow for a moment. Click here for a profile of Sarah Jean Parker, aka Jean Carn: http://www.discomuseum.com/JeanCarn.html

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After the couple broke up, Jean continued to work the jazz field, including a brief stint with the Ellington Orchestra (that’s right, THE Duke Ellington Orchestra — Jean was the last female vocalist Duke had in the orchestra before Ellington died) and earlier she had had a couple of moments singing backup with Earth, Wind & Fire (she’s on their first two albums). She then landed the gig with Norman Connors, whom I first heard as a drummer with Pharoah Sanders. Norman had an eye to produce pop-jazz and he did so, successfully bringing us Jean Carn, Michael Henderson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Phyllis Hyman, as well as eventually producing Pharoah Sander’s only pop album.

Listening now, we can place Norman Connors as the pop side of the pop-jazz formula and Doug Carn as the jazz side (that’s simplifying, but relatively accurate). On Norman Connors’ Saturday Night Special (Buddah, 1975), Jean recorded “Dindi” and “Valentine Love”“Valentine” was a breakthrough for Norman and led to a string of increasingly pop (or some would say pop-jazz) oriented recordings. One look at the cover of Saturday Night Special made clear what direction Norman was headed (he was high-class pop-jazz, ‘blinging’ long before the hip-hop term was coined). In other words, Norman decided to go commercial and Jean followed suit.

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‘Followed suit’ is also a simplification but for the purposes of this brief overview we’ll let it stand as long as folk recognize that I’m skipping a lot of stuff and I’m not making a negative assessment of either Norman or Jean’s musical abilities and choices, rather I am trying to place them stylistically within the musical spectrum. Listen to the tail end of “Dindi” (by the way that’s Gary Bartz soloing on saxophone) and you will hear Jean unleash some powerful vocal pyrotechnics that are nearly smothered with a vocal chorus and a long fade out. Also note that “Valentine Love” was the hit off the album although jazz heads dug “Dindi.”

After working with Norman Connors, Jean signed with the Gamble & Huff-led Philly International, a team that successfully elevated pop towards meaningful messages and not just mindless dancing. They tried mightily to make a ‘success’ with Jean — they even re-recorded a short, two-song medley of strong Doug Carn songs: “Revelation/Infant Eyes.” One listen and you could hear there was no comparison musically. The high point of the Philly efforts was “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head.” After Jean left Philly, then came the out-and-out disco work. I’ll leave that to those who like it to talk about it.

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In 1998, Jean released Love Lessons on the independent Place One label, it was half & half smooth jazz (including a duet with Billy Paul) and reworkings of standards such as “Misty” and “Someone To Watch Over Me.” In 2003, Expansions (a small British label) released Collaborations, a compilation of duets composed mostly of Jean’s guest spots on previously recorded albums by other artists.

You can see the arc: less and less musical exploration, more and more musical formula. Some older jazz heads harp on the absence of serious female singers who could compare to Ella, Sarah and Billie. However, what some folk don’t/won’t (refuse to) recognize is that singers such as Nancy Wilson, Jean Carn and Phyllis Hyman unfortunately did not come up in an era when a career as a jazz singer was even a commercial possibility. They might start off in jazz, but the industry pushed them into pop.

The recorded evidence reveals that Jean Carn had the chops, the sensibility, and the inclination to be a serious jazz singer, but the industry opportunities were not there, indeed, the industry was bum-rushing singers in the opposite direction. I would even go so far as to assert: if Sarah Vaughan were coming along today, there would never be a Sarah Vaughan the jazz singer. Indeed, can you imagine Charlie Parker coming along today? Can you say Kentucky Fried Chicken? (And if you don’t get the joke, don’t worry about it.)

Mtume, we both know the story, we know how the industry works, or should I say ‘exploits’ (and wrecks) Black song. What we sometimes forget is that the singers of these songs are human beings struggling to survive and at the same time struggling to remain true to their internal spirits. But, you see, America doesn’t give a damn about spirituality—it’s all about the money and ain’t a damn thing funny. In the face of all of this, what does a sensitive soul do? What can anyone do?

—Kalamu ya Salaam

P.S. as a final trivia note, Jean Carn was born 15 March 1947. Kalamu was born 24 March 1947.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 31st, 2005 at 12:01 am and is filed under Classic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


30 Responses to “DOUG & JEAN CARN / “Infant Eyes””

sue ross Says:
July 31st, 2005 at 9:33 am

Just a note to say thanks for bringing back to our attention the ethereal sounds of Jean Carn in the seventies and making me aware that the Black Jazz records are now available on CD. Now I know I can replace my well-worn LPs…
Jean Carn is alive and well in Atlanta, occasionally giving a jazz-influenced or a gospel-inflected performance around town. She sings at many events benefitting black non-profit institutions, from UNCF and the AUC colleges to the APEX Museum . She’s recorded a moving version of Lift Every Voice and Sing for the APEX.
Thanks again for bringing long-lost classics back to light.


Castro (Jason) Says:
August 1st, 2005 at 9:50 am

Jean Carn….whew…you know what’s the wig out? The track that I ALWAYS think of when Jean Carn is mentioned, is a ballad she did in the 80′s-’Closer than Close’. To this day, I have a K-mart cassette tape that I recorded songs off of the radio in the mid-eighties, and one of the reasons I kept it was because of that track. One minute she gives you that velvety, breathy moan, and the next minute she gives that hot, brassy high note. Just off of that track, I luv me some Jean Carn. ‘Don’t Let It Go To Your Head’ is exactly what you said it was, Baba Kalamu- ELEGANT. When I’m in a club and that comes on…that’s when you bust out those smooth ass, baby powder on the floor Fred Astaire moves (LOL)….


Mtume Says:
August 1st, 2005 at 7:16 pm

I have to add a comment about this tune. Before my Baba emailed me the track and his write-up, I’d never heard any version of “Infant Eyes.” Right away, I heard what it was Kalamu was reacting to — the lyrics are passionately sung and expertly written; the instrumentation is first-rate. But I can’t honestly say I *liked* it. In other words, while I would have to say “Infant Eyes” is the superior piece artistically, I personally enjoyed “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” a lot more. Then I heard Wayne Shorter’s version. I really dug that. I like the apparent simplicity of the melody, coupled with the way the melody gradually builds in complexity and intensity. It really caught me. Then I listened to Jean Carn’s version again. Now, instead of just hearing words, I heard the song! I guess I didn’t get into the song initially because I couldn’t ‘hear’ the melody. I was so caught up in trying to listen to each word Jean was singing, that I forgot that I was listening to MUSIC. It was as if I was listening to a lecture rather than a song.

Anyway, all that to say, now that I do know the melody, I really dig both versions. So I’m with the rest of y’all: ‘thank you’ to Baba Kalamu for pulling this one out of his collection (and what a collection it is; y’all should see it — it’s ridiculous!) to grace us with its presence.

Mtume.


AumRa Frezel Says:
August 2nd, 2005 at 1:32 pm

The Wayne Shorter composition Infant Eyes borrows heavily from the John Coltrane song Naima. The homage is blatant in the melody as well as the chord structure but this is not a rip off. The song title is an obvious testimonial where one saxophonist/composer acknowledges the one that came before. Wayne is saying I look up to you John – that’s what infant eyes do. Listen to Naima then listen to Infant Eyes. It was said that Trane wrote the song after performing at a club and finding his first wife (Naima) had fallen asleep at the table. This was a lullaby of mutual devotion. Even when we are apart physically we are locked in arms spiritually.

Then come Doug and Jean’s interpretation with those words which seem to at once both reflect and project our rich cultural tradition which is such a vital module of Black art. Jean’s voice is compelling. Listening is like being sucked into a vortex. You become consumed by the sound. Jean’s is a vast, diaphragmatic channel that harkens back to the time when jazz musicians treaded in familiar waters only long enough to become one with the flow. Once you’ve been baptized in the primordial river of consciousness of jazz it then becomes easy to whet others curiosity with an economic sample of the nurturing aspects Black water. The first act of maturity is to take the plunge into the deep stream of creativity. Doug’s sound is rooted in tradition yet finds its own identity in advancing the culture.

Our society has to maintain a certain aspect of elasticity because things do tend to fall apart. Doug and Jean did their homework. It is obvious from the 6/8 swing of Western Sunrise to the laid back groove of Revelation that their sound is deeply rooted in jazz traditions. Yet there is something fresh here and part of the appeal is the lyrics infused with the codes of spirituals that are prevalent African American vernacular. The other part is song arrangements. The way the horns are voiced and arranged is hip. Doug incorporated many classical techniques in his compositions. A clear mastery of the language of bebop aside, mastering the language of western music is exemplified in the use contrary motion in the part writing that makes three horns sound like four. Doug’s use of call and response is juxtaposed with the fugue where the horn lines seem to answer the Hammond B3 organ. The deft use of tension and release utilized where motifs build and are resolved underlies the type of consideration inherent in an artist who cares not only about their craft but also cares for the listener.

Perforning Infant Eyes, Doug slows it down and allows Jean’s voice to wrap you in the soft, warm textures of a sound that knows the essential purpose of a lullaby. This music is so delicate and volatile you know this can’t last forever; though you wish it could. All things fall apart and return to the earth but for those children of the revolution and revolutionaries who are still inclined to dig the deepness gods and earths, there is always new day dawning. And once the new day is here the sun will shine it’s own light; which too will be part reflection and part projection.

Peace out to Ahidiana.

AumRa


Ekere Says:
August 3rd, 2005 at 2:19 pm

Greetings. I am moved by the Shorter work and Jean and Doug work. Kalamu (cyber-Baba), it is when you write that you have strayed from the music that I find this site the most illuminating. Our music says so much about where we are and are not. Nommo is real and so are the vibrations of sound.


neek Says:
August 6th, 2005 at 6:29 am

and secretly i’m hoping you will bring june tyson to the light here…great website, thanks for sharing…


Ken Says:
September 25th, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Happened to be checking out website of funk/fusion artist George Duke. Duke notes that both Jean Carn AND Floria Purim sang on his hit record, “Reach For It”–neither could be credited due to contractual reasons. Again, this website makes so many elements, eras and genres of black music cohere.


jewel leon devereaux Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 6:06 am

I went to elementary and middle school with Jean’s children, and I remember when Closer than Close came out. She has influenced me and turned me toward a career in music. I’m always looking for updates on her work and appearances. This was a special treat and a rare find. Thank you for educating me. This shows and proves that we as black artist are capable of so much more than popular music. We should try to learn more about our jazz heritage.


James Dickerson Says:
December 26th, 2005 at 9:51 am

I was curious. I noted credit to Doug and Sarah Carn on the back of my EARTH WIND AND FIRE album. Then it hit me – Sarah Jean, I betcha! So I Googled “Sarah Carn,” and found this chestnut
(website). Now I know! It’s Sarah Jean and Sherry Scott singing with Maurice White on Love Is Life, and her coro singing along with Jessica Cleves on Where Have All The Flowers Gone. And is that Jean Carn singing my favorite Earth, Wind and Fire song: I’d Rather Have You? Boah!

It’s Joyce Green, not Sarah Jean singing on Western Sunrise on the Adam’s Apple album that also provides treatment of another Wayne Shorter composition – Sanctuary. Here, Doug Carn reinterprets and personalizes Shorter, while defining what I perceive as the sanctity of the matrimonial vow. I would have enjoyed hearing Sarah Jean render this Shorter piece.

I have a lot more to say, but I’m satisfied. Sarah Jean Carn is one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I hope she is able to made a substantive comeback (to us), much as Abbey Lincoln has been able to accomplish from the early 1990s until now.


James Dickerson Says:
December 26th, 2005 at 9:56 am

I actually hope that Sarah Jean Carn is is able to MAKE a substantive comeback. Please come back, Jean Carn.


okyeame Says:
December 29th, 2005 at 10:53 am

this music took me over the top. after hearing it on this site, i went to the blackjazz website and purchased the albums “infant eyes”, “revelation”, and “spirt of the new land.” the “infant eyes” album is a musical translation of what our race is capable of on all levels, culturally, politically, economically, socially, etc.

music likes this inspires me to achieve black excellence in all endeavors of life, particularly, since war is constantly being waged against my desire to be “black”.


Chantal Says:
February 11th, 2006 at 9:15 am

Am seeking lyrics or charts if available for “peace”. Many thanks.


simon in london Says:
February 20th, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Jean is one of the greatest vocalists -male or female -ever. She continues to be so today, as anyone who has seen her perform live recently can attest. She is too good for this world and the world -maybe doesn’t deserve her? But some of us can try to be good enough for her. Thank you for singing to us Jean.


connie ellington Says:
April 18th, 2006 at 10:35 pm

how can I purchase this cd???

           kalamu sez       

All of the Black Jazz recordings (including the three Doug & Jean Carn albums: Infant Eyes, Spirit of the New Land, Revelation) are now back in circulation available from the Black Jazz website: http://www.blackjazz.com

 


John S. Says:
May 11th, 2006 at 9:19 pm

Nearly 30 years ago, I was a banker in Atlanta, GA when a very pretty lady walked into my office and sat down. When she told me her name was Jean Carn, I trust that I did not make a fool of myself as I told her of my love for her music. By this time, she and Doug had been seperated for a few years, so there wasn’t much discussion of Doug. I couldn’t tell her how I thought that Doug was the best jazz lyricist and arrangers that I had ever heard. I did tell her that I had all of her albums with Doug and that I always kept one of them on my “turntable” at home. As I write this 30 years later, Doug and Jean are still “on my turntable”.

Doug’s music has been an inspiring force in my life. Why he never made it has forever been a puzzle to me. Doug’s creativity was a gift to Jean’s incredible vocal talents. There is no other music that speaks to me the way Doug’s arrangements have over the years. It is truly Black classical music at it’s finest.

Come to find out Jean lived not far from me. She later invited me to a music industry party where she sang. I’ll never forget that night. She picked me up in a limousine. Here’s a tip. If you have never heard Jean sing live. You have never heard her sing at all. I was blown away.

We lost touch for over twenty years. A few years ago, she started attending my church in Atlanta. I chatted with her briefly, but she didn’t have a clue who I was. Time passes.

I would give anything to hear Doug live even now. If anybody knows where or if he might be performing, please let me know. He should be among the greats.


Kaleema Sumareh Says:
July 15th, 2006 at 4:46 pm

I don’t have an answer, I am trying to collect all of Doug Carnes musical recordings. So far i have Infant Eyes (wow). I really want a copy of Al Rahman. Can anyone help.

thank you


LaVerne Says:
July 19th, 2006 at 6:39 pm

I know Doug & Jean did a rendition of “Western Sunrise”
I’m dying to get a copy


GRAFF E.T Says:
October 22nd, 2006 at 4:13 am

I DONT DNOW IF THIS WILL HELP BUT MAYBE CHECK DUSTY GROOVES WEBSITE FOR THER AL RAHMAN…ITS CALLED CRY OF THE FLORIDIAN SUN ON AN INDEPENDANT LABLE CALLED TABLIGHI,AND IT CONTAINS THE LOST CLASSIC TROPIC SONS,
DOUG IS THE MAN .HIS ARRANGEMENTS AND VOCAL STYLING BROUGHT THE BEST OUT OF A FRESH NAIVE JEAN CARNE(IN MY OPINION) I GUESS HE PROBABLY WAS SINGLE MINDED @ THE TIME WITH HIS PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE THRU HIS MUSIC,AND SOME TIMES THAT IS TOO NEAT A MEDICINE FOR MOST OF US TO DIGEST.I SUPPOSE A FWW YEARS AND A CHANGEING VIEW ,OUTSIDEINFLUENCES IS ENOUGH 2 CHANGE ONE’S VIEW ,AND THE COMPARISON OF DOUG AND JEANS MUSIC IN THE 70′S AND JEANS SOLO CAREER IN THE 80′S SAYS IT ALL,ITS ALL A MATTER OF MUSICAL TASTE@ THE END OF THE DAY.I JIHAD FOR INSTANCE AS A SONG IS FANTASTIC,PROPHETIC AND ON POINT,BUT IMAGINE FOR AN INCREASINGLY GROWING ARTIST SUCH AS JEAN WAS,.MIXING WITH THE LIKES OF AZAR LAWRENCE,DEE BRIDGEWATER MTUME, NORMAN CONNERS,AND GETTING PROPS FROM THESE GREAT ARTISTS,ONES EYE POTENTIALLY WILL START VIEWING A DIFFERENT PRIZE…DOUG AND JEAN WHERE POTENTIALLY A HUSBAND AND WIFE SUPER GROUP ,EMERGING OUT OUT OF THE 70′S,BUT FOR DOUG HIS MUSIC WAS AN EXTENTION OF HIMSELF,HE WAS 2 REAL WITH IT,THATS 1N CONCLUSION 2 ARRIVE @ I GUESS JEAN WAS GRAVITATING 2WARDS THE VERY THING THAT THEIR MUSIC WAS PROTESTING AGAINST.IN HIND SIGHT WE CAN SAY ALOT OF THINGS ABOUT WHY THIS HAPPENED ETC,BUTI GUESS WHAT MATTERS IS THAT DOUG AND JEAN CARNE HAS CAPTURED A SLICE OF TURBULENT TIMES IN BLACK AMERICAN HISTORY,AND DOCUMENTED IT FOR US LESSER HUMANS 2 FEAST AND REFLECT ON.I SEE THE NAME MTUME EARLIER,IS THAT THE MTUME,BIG UP FOR CAPTURING JEAN AND DEEDEE BRIDGEWATER ON THAT MASTERSPIECE EPIC ON UR ALBUM REBIRTH CYCLE….P.S ALL CAPS IS A DIEHARD HABIT THATS HARD 2 BREAK …HELP


Denise Oliver-Velez Says:
December 14th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

It was so refreshing to run across these pages and a discussion of Jean Carn – when she sang jazz. I am always stunned when folks come over to our house and we play Infant Eyes or Naima or Blue in Green and they are dumbfounded – we always get the same response – “Who is THAT?”

It is disheartening to note that a whole generation has grown up without ever being exposed to this powerful musical woman. But then – there are few radio stations in this country that play jazz – most of those that claim to be jazz stations play smooth elevator sounds with all the black edges removed and sanitized.

I had the good fortune to grow up in New York – to be taken to clubs like Slugs by Naima Coltrane along with other young folks from my neighborhood, and to hear all this music live. I later landed a job tending bar at an obscure club on the lower east side of Manhattan called the Jazzboat – where Doug and Jean Carn were almost the house band. I was in vocal heaven. Years later, while hosting a women’s jazz show on WPFW-FM in DC, I got a press release that Jean Carn – now spelled Carne, was in town singing at a local club. I practically flew out the station to be there – and to my horror the Jean Carn I had been transformed by, was herself radically changed. The music was disco-pop-soul, slick and packaged, as was she, and there was no echo of the woman’s voice that could move the world to be heard. I left in disgust, and never heard, or listened to her again. I wore out my old records, haunted used record bins to replace them, later managed to find them yet again in Europe and I feel blessed to have discovered via your site that I can now download them all anew from black jazz.

I encourage your readers to buy all three albums featuring Jean; “Revelation”, “Spirit of a New Land” and of course “Infant Eyes”. And spread the word.

Alafia,

Denise


John Axsom Says:
December 29th, 2006 at 10:23 pm

Thank you for leading me to infant eyes, which I have been searching for for so long. BlackJazz.com is great. I remember seeing Doug and Jean Carn in Philly in 1974, It was more then music that music came from our lifestyle, our passion, our Spirit. Thank you for re infusing me.

Keep the Spirit alive,
John


Chet Says:
January 2nd, 2007 at 9:52 am

I stumbled upon your site while searching for info on Doug or Jean Carn. This action was prompted by my listening to the Infant Eyes release. I have been enjoying this music since I first heard it in the early 70′s and it still has a wonderful disburdening effect .

Your site is such a great concept and presented in a welcome unclutterd manner. I will be visiting regularly. Thanks for helping to keep the music alive.

Peace & Blessings….. Chet


Bill Says:
February 28th, 2007 at 8:46 pm

2 years back while in theUK I came across Jean’s double album ‘Sweet and wonderful and Jean Carn’, and I am truly impressed with her vocal styling. However I am unable to come across any specific reference on the net having to do with her vocal ability, as done about Mariah and Minnie. Does anyone know her vocal range and her highest recorded note. Thankfully to Hotget.com I heard few more of her other songs which include ‘Completeness’ and I hear the exact; if not a higher upper register than on the Minnie version; was it really Jean Carne who sang that note? If so that was amazing. I am so intrigiued by her that I ordered her Expansion dvd release, her duet album and her two first solo albums and I CAN’T WAIT TO GET THEM.


Wale Adeniji Says:
July 28th, 2007 at 8:04 am

It was by chance that I happened to walk into a record shop last year (2006), that was playing a track from a Doug Carn album, titled Spirit Of The New Land. I was mesmerised by the vocal contribution, of a certain Jean Carn.

I recently bought a hard to find CD reissue copy of The Best of Doug Carn. This compilation contains tracks from the four albums Carn recorded for the Black Jazz label, during the early/mid 1970s: Revelation, Adam’s Apple, Infant Eyes, and Spirit Of The New Land. Jean Carn is among the featured vocallists.

I was slightly disappointed that the track God is One, is omitted from the Best Of album. The track appears on side one of Revelation. It is only two minutes long, but Jean’s vocals are magnificent. In my humble opinion, it should have been longer.

Wale Adeniji (London)


Connie Bell Says:
January 30th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

She’s the greatest !!! Just like Phyllis Hyman.


Tasha West Says:
February 28th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Im so inspired!
To create, sing, write, dance, play, draw, hammer, Love, be me!
Thank you Doug and Jean!


Ricardo Says:
July 31st, 2008 at 10:59 am

hello jean we love your music i have collected all your albums. i would like to hear your music with mr. Doug Carn. my friend Andre sang with you at Blues Alley about 3 or 5 yrs ago, we were intruduce by your music director and friend of my friend his name i for got but i think Nathan Heathman.


Amir Rahim Says:
August 10th, 2008 at 4:17 am

Jean Carne–a brief stint with the Duke Ellington Orchestra and singing backup with Earth, Wind & Fire on their first two albums….that blows me away! PLEASE release the CD quality classics to replace my worn vinyls! Also, WHUR in D.C. used to play Doug, Miles, Byrd, Hubbard, Coltrane and Sun Ra all night long…I sorely miss the late 70′s! The lp Infant Eyes is the essence of the 70′s Black Jazz scene Amir -webmaster slystone.com

          kalamu sez           

to get your doug & jean carn on, go here. all the classics are available.

 


charles wiliams Says:
March 24th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Can Infant Eyes be bought? If so tell me how and where to obtain it. Likely it is out of print…yet I would like to obtain it. It was a favorite of mine. Thank You!   

         kalamu sez          

you can get "infant eyes" by doug & jean carn on amazon.com

go here.


Akua Says:
April 16th, 2009 at 9:12 am

I had all of the Doug and Jean Carn albums and have seen them at the East in Brooklyn back in the day. They truly complemented each other and I’m hard pressed to think of any group that affected me as much as Doug and Jean. Their musical influence on me was that powerful. Revelation and Contemplation being two of my all time favorites. When the Black Jazz site was still around, I was able to get Revelation and Infant Eyes in CD format. They even sent me a third CD as a bonus. Doug Carn now has a MySpace page and the public can hear some his his (and her) fantastic work. I noted another vocalist doing Revelation on Doug’s MySpace page. She has a nice voice, but Jean Carn owns that song. Thank You.



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