Dee Dee Bridgewater on Studying Betty Carter
BETTY CARTER AND LEARNING HOW TO LEAD [:60]
RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT
NEA JAZZ MASTER DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER LEARNED HOW TO OWN THE STAGE BY STUDYING FEMALE VOCALISTS LIKE BETTY CARTER.
Dee Dee Bridgewater: I called myself her puppy dog. I was her shadow. I would go to any performance that she would have in New York City. I would reserve my seat. I would always sit alone. I did not want to be distracted. I needed to understand what Betty Carter was doing.
What a Little Moonlight Can Do
Betty led her own bands. I didn’t understand that. I had never seen someone with that much freedom. So my way of being on stage, that came from Betty Carter. That kind of physical freedom that Betty exhibited—that’s where I got it from. I took it from her. I took it from Etta James. I took it from female performers who were very physical and who were visceral (laughing).
Excerpt of “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” composed by Harry M. Woods and performed by Betty Carter, from a live concert in 1982, used by permission of Music Sales Corp. and Warner Chappell Music Inc. [ASCAP].