Excerpt II from Growing Up With Jazz by W. Royal Stokes

In addition to these two and Big Nick, Sudhalter names as a mentor guitarist Jack Hotop, who had played in accordionist Joe Mooney’s combo. “He played great Bach, played great jazz, and we began doing gigs together… Somehow it was just very clear to me how much he believed in my playing and in me.”

Carol’s working quartet “has kind of expanded into a sextet and I recorded some very, very nice things this year with it” …Carol produces her recordings on her own Carolina Records. These include two CDs of the big band, SOON  and Last Train to Astoria, a quartet CD, Carol in the Garden of Jazz , and a sextet CD, It’s Time.

Sudhalter has performed at a number of New York clubs, been a featured artist since 1994 at the annual Manhattan Country School Rent Party and All-Nite Soul at St. Peter’s Church, and appeared in the1998 Hartford Jazz Festival and the 1999 JVC  and Buffalo (Pine Grill Reunion) jazz festivals. The many artists she has performed with include Sarah McLawler, Etta Jones, Jimmy McGriff, Eddie Fisher, Sergio Franchi, and The Spinners.

“I’m planning for Italy to be a major part of my future,” Carol points out. “Since I’m fluent in Italian it’s the natural place for me and I do love it there.

…”I landed a couple of gigs in Italy in 2002, and that was enough for a start … At the same time I got a gig at Villa Celimontana in Rome…Among the musicians whom Sudhalter has found herself in the company of on bandstands from Rome to Verona to Milan during five or six visits to Italy the past several years are,,,flutist Stefano Benini, pianist …Andrea Tarozzi, bassists Pietro Ciancaglini and Enrico Terragnoli…”Things really seem to be happening for me. I’m absorbing music that I hear at a rate much faster than previously. Soaking it in, you might say. I hear the change in my playing. And I get some recognition for it.”

In May of 2003 Carol Sudhalter was awarded the John Garcia Gensel Award at the annual Manhattan Country School Rent Party. In September she was invited to bring her thirteen-member big band to the next year’s Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. …”that was really the icing on the cake. It just blew me away to get that recommendation from Billy Taylor.”


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