DOUG & JEAN CARN / “Infant Eyes”


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31 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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July 23rd, 2015 at 6:00 pm

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