An exceptionally graceful jazz and R&B vocalist with a five-octave range, Jean Carn scored her first major hit with "Valentine Love" (1975), a plush duet with Michael Henderson featured on Norman Connors' Saturday Night Special album. This prompted a solo career that began with four charting albums for Philadelphia International, starting with Jean Carn (1976), and an assortment of '70s R&B classics including "Free Love," "Don't Let It Go to Your Head," and "Was That All It Was." After a brief period with Motown, Carn teamed up with Grover Washington, Jr. to top the R&B chart with the ballad "Closer Than Close" (1986). Throughout the following decades, Carn has continued to be a beloved performer, especially in the U.K., and has occasionally recorded new material, such as Jean Carne JID012 (2022), a jazz-rooted collaboration with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Carn's discography as a solo artist tells only one part of her story, though, as she has been active since her teenage years as a featured vocalist and arranger, with connections to Erroll Garner, former husband Doug Carn, Earth, Wind & Fire, Duke Ellington, and Phyllis Hyman, among other major figures across multiple genres.
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