Jazz Vocalists - CD/SD

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I have the idea that jazz vocalists - ALL jazz vocalists - are completely rubbish. That's Louis Armstrong (as a singer), Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, and their less famous brethren and sistern. They're a blight on the face of jazz, in no way deserving of comparison with the great jazz musicians. Well that's what I think anyway.

What about you?

The Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Louis Armstrong's voice = classic. Other voices noted = classic. How they implemented these voices = depends on where you draw the line. Tonight it's not just the singer; tonight it's the song.

I've this compilation of Rodgers & Hart songs that I only listened to once or twice because half the vocalists are so damned mannered & stiff. Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Louis Prima. (They're not jazz, though, are they? I'll hush up.) (Is the Velvet Fog a jazz vocalist?) (Is Sinatra? I always get irked when people gush about Sinatra's voice and his panache and his swingin' thing, like he's so cool & beyond reproach.)

David Raposa, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Nina Simone.
Thats all i have to say.

anthony, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Vicar: subjectively, I think I feel the opposite from you. I'm not sure that I have enjoyed anyone else in jazz as much as Ella Fitzgerald. But then, I know nothing about jazz. Do you? It could be, I suppose, that jazz singers are jazz for people like me who don't like it, and jazz instrumentals are for proper clued-up fans.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

If you're in southern CA, KCRW (89.9 FM) is running a program today until 10 pm on jazz singers. You might be able to listen online as well.

youn, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I don't especially like vocal jazz - only own one Billie comp, so I could rightly be said to not know what I'm talking about. But I think it's fair to say that vocal and instrumental jazz are distinct but related. So it's perfectly sensible that one could like one but not the other. And also that means vocal jazz isn't exactly a 'blight' on the rest of it.

Josh, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Pinefox: No, I know almost nothing about Jazz. I have about five Jazz CDs and three or four Jazz LPs buried somewhere, and I've seen some of the (brilliant) Ken Burns "Jazz" TV series.

Josh: The seperate but equal idea is interesting. Certainly the world of Billie Holliday or Ella Fitzgerald seems very removed from the world of contemporary instrumental jazz (in my very patchy and no doubt laughable inaccurate view).

But Louis Armstrong, I find it very hard to take him seriously as a vocalist. In any sense.

The Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Louis Armstrong (as a singer), Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday

Odd that, by way of example, you picked just about the only jazz singers -- along with Johnny Hartman, maybe, and one or two others -- that I actually like.

A lot of vocal jazz is crap -- it combines the worst aspects of jazz (sterility, necrophilia, stagnation) and pop (endless posturing and the fetishization of ignorance and incompetence) -- but that's largely due to the fact that most jazz vocalists themselves are crap. As a jazz instrumentalist, the most tedious thing in the world is to see a countless procession of jazz vocalists who:

-- can't read music,

-- can't sing in tune,

-- don't know the songs or the chords,

-- don't have anything interesting to say,

-- and think they're hot shit.

Also, vocal jazz is generally extremely conservative, and it's no coincidence that it's also where a lot of the money is. Many great instrumentalists, yearning for the chance to produce original and creative music, have ended up as members of the backing bands for singers, performing tired chestnuts (and never too loud!) to crowds of smug, self-satisfied upper-class snobs.

Finally, scat solos. "Skiddle-dee-bop-a-shoo-ba-loo-ba-woogle-woogle." There are about nine people, give or take, who can pull them off; everyone else sounds ridiculous at best.

The contempt of jazz instrumentalists for jazz vocalists is legendary, and usually well-earned. It's hard to blame them for it, but it's unfortunate when that contempt is turned on that 5% of jazz singers who actually do work hard and make an effort to learn about the music, rather than relying on their voice and, most often, looks.

All that being said, albums like Hartman and Coltrane (or was it the other way round?) are classic, and prove that vocal jazz can be a thing of beauty and wit. And even a notch or two below that, there's room for people like Louis Prima in the world, certainly. But below that, it's a mess -- especially after 1965 or so -- and it's certainly not jazz: just bad, moldy pop.

Phil, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

maybe it's worth stating the obvious? louis armstrong is not famous 'cos of his singing. (not that his singing's so terrible.)

maybe jazz singing is not different form from popular music singing full stop? the obvious cut off point is that anti-technique never cuts it in jazz (not that it can be dileneated that simply), BUT dinah washington is one of the greatest singers of songs of any kind of all time. sure, she's a jazz singer in a sense (when she's singing in front of jass guys, huh), but most of all she's a singer (better than ella, better than billie, better than anyone - and, pinefox, once i thought ella was about as good as it got too, so check her out!).

june tyson is a great jazz singer (long long time sun ra associate). leon thomas is a jazz stylist out on his own (pharoah sanders' "the creator has a master plan" etc.). fontella bass was also in on some choice '60s stuff (art ensemble of chicago, *and* she had a chart hit with the chess records soul classic "rescue me").

jon, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

While I definitely prefer to listen to and play instrumental jazz, I don't think the role of the singer in the development of the music should be belittled. There's a lot to be said for learning to play properly behind a singer, and what great jazz vocalists can do with a melody. In fact, many of the master horn players (Miles, Lester Young & Johnny Hodges, Sonny Rollins, etc.) have often stated that they try to sing through the horn and approach a melody as if they were a vocalist.

That said, you should check out Kurt Elling. He's a young singer who's got incredible technique, a great band, cool arrangements, and most of all takes lots of risks. He's not afraid to start screaming like a tenor player in the middle of his solos.

I'd say 'The Messenger' is my favorite album of his.

Jordan, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

More thoughts:

Adherence to text = less freedom to improvise?

Why do I always get the impression that bands behind singers really are playing "behind" them? Diff. for instrumental soloists: either feels like everyone's playing at the same time (at different volumes maybe, but still), or the band is playing "beneath" soloist (better maybe: "around").

Josh, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Hey! I think I get to be the first person to say "Chet Baker"!

Vicar: for 'other' views on Burns' "Jazz", cf. thread on it.

the pinefox, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

agreed with jon on the dinah washington call... julie londons version of 'watermelon man' puts her more than in the running.. and if familiarity breeds contempt why do i still need louis armstrong & ellas regular knocking me to my knees 'april in paris'.. comfort and rrecognition that its ok to wake up.. cunts

Dan Mancini, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

its honesty not familiarity that breeds contempt...

Dan Mancini, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

nina simones 'here comes the sun'...

Dan Mancini, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

was it leon thomas on 'prince of peace'? that yodelling rocks!

gareth, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy: Any jazz vocalist who a)Went to stage school b)appeared after 1969

tarden, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Pinefox, where is this thread of which you speak? searching the I Love Music frontpage for "Jazz" yields only this one.

DV, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Massive thread called "'Jazz': Search & Destroy".

If I was Nicky D or Josh K I would make those words blue. My editor tells me it's something to do with 'code'. Isn't it always?

As it is, you can probably find it either under S&D or in the New Answers section.

the pinefox, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Great call on Leon Thomas, Gareth - would also nominate Linda Sharrock (again), Phil Minton and Cassandra Wilson in the 'post-69' category. But I presume that the tradition of jazz singing died out pretty much with the demise of the big orchestras, all of whom had featured singers (Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing etc. etc.) The voice another instrument that had to abandoned for monetary reasons.

And I'd say that Billie Holiday's recs with Teddy Wilson are as jazz as jazz can be. Sublime.

Andrew L, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Leon Thomas OK, but he's only good on those couple of Pharoah records & then after that, I dunno, prob'ly not much. but who's that guy on Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre's "Humility in the Light Of The Creator"? George Hines? that's some freaky vocal wonderfulness, did he ever do *anything* else?

duane, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

In general I don't like singing in jazz, Nina Simone leaves stone cold, Louis A. just sounds so...old, so black & white.

Exception: Chet Baker. Dude!

Omar, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

far as old fashioned type stuff though, another couple thumbs up for Ella Fitz from over here...

duane, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Chet B. - I don't get it. Willing to try again though ...

duane, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Bah! Ella, Billie, Dinah, Nina, Chet etc etc are the ONLY jazz I like! Give me even 'A-Tisket A-Tasket' over the furious noodling of John Coltrane and his ilk. The version of 'With a Song in My Heart' by Ella F may well be my favourite song of all time, and if I ever find myself matrimony-bound, it will almost certaintly accompany me up the aisle. A-and - Chet Sings is THE BEST MAKE-OUT LP OF ALL TIME. Thing is, I don't really think of any of these people as jazz singers, any more than I think of Frank Sinatra as a jazz singer. They're just pop singers, and all the better for that.

Jazz singers = CLEO LAINE! Which is dud, dud, dud (though I have a soft spot for poor old Johnny). The only person who should be allowed to scat is Balloo the Bear.

stevie t, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I back Stevie, of course - believe it or not, he TAUGHT me half of what I know about jazz singers, and I think his taste here is quite simple and very fine. Except that unlike him, I don't 'Make Out', so I don't need 'Make-Out LPs'.

the pinefox, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

These singers use the jazz aesthetic in pop music. The music isn't jazz and shouldn't be judged as such. I understand why jazz people don't like these singers, but they shouldn't dislike them any more than they dislike any other pop act. they are "jazzy" not "jazz."

And that's why I like them! Nat Cole! Dean Martin! Chet Baker! Ella! Important building blocks for pop-rock.

Blake, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Ok, so nobody's mentioned "Sassy", the great Sarah Vaughan. Her voice is pure magic, never hit a bad note, and while her many LPs contain some dud arrangements, she's never less than perfect each time out, even making me like songs I'd never wanted to even hear. Search: Sarah Vaughan in HiFi, with Miles on trumpet.

Nina Simone is brilliant, but I wouldn't call her a jazz singer. Just saw her in NYC, and seeing her again in Oakland, CA, btw.

Sean, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't see anybody mention Jimmy Scott--he has some crazy disorder that caused him to quit growing when he was really young so he's tiny a la Joe C. His voice is high and plaintive and tremendously affecting. He played Jazzfest here in New Orleans this year but I missed it do to my continued boycott of anything involving "jam bands." Blah.

adam, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Agreed re: Sarah Vaughn. She's another one who is up there with the instrumentalists in terms of harmonic knowledge, and according to Richard Davis (who played in her trio during the 60s) she's quite an accomplished piano player too.

Also, Josh, you're definitely right about the singer having a separate, elevated place in the group. Maybe it's partly due to the fact that the unamplified voice is quieter than horns and drums at comparable dynamic levels, but I've had it drilled into me to respect and support the singer when there is one. There isn't the same sense of equality in interaction...there are exceptions of course (like when I saw Kurt Elling do 'Resolution' live last year, he was very much an equal part of the group).

Jordan, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

leon thomas? ok, duane, i didn't mean to say he was all good, but even his impulse solo lp is pretty alright. it's probably true that it is the non-verbal stuff, yodelling if you like, that makes it (and that may characterise what seemed like it was surviving after '65 or '69). so hear hear to linda sharrock and george hines, and you can add in penelope taylor ("levels and degrees of light") for a more opera, less native american slant in the aacm camp, maybe. in that vein, non-verbal, the only plausible candidates for recent non-pop, improv/jazz vocalisations that come to mind are sainkho namtchylak (who's coming from an inuit angle?) and maybe lauren newton (though there's something pretty arch about that stuff).

jon, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

oops, i mean leon thomas' solo lp on flying dutchman....

jon, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

In general I mistrust any for of vocal jazz. It is so hard to do well. have to be a top singer improvisor and have a real feel for the music. Nothing makes me leave a jazz gig faster than a band welcoming a singer onto the stage to do a few numbers, and there's nothing more cringe worthy than a classical singer trying to sing jazz and completely missing the point.

However my selction would be Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Anita O'Day, Nina Simone, and early aretha franklin , pre queen of soul era, (imho the difinitive version of 'love for sale' is sung by her).

I can't think of anyone post 60s. There was no longer a need to use vocalists to make jazz pop by then so number of good vocal talents went elsewhere, see aretha switching to soul on moving labels and belting out soul classics. i can't think of any current jazz singers, except one i saw sing with herbie hancock who was just plain dull. then again with a few notable exceptions i can't think of many people currently pushing back the boundaries of jazz, or eving playing well in an old style, with a few notable exceptions of course.

Ed, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Rachelle Farrell is probably more of an R&B singer than jazz, but she's still phenomenal. I have to ditto everyone who's praised Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald; they are IMPECCABLE, particularly Ms. Vaughn.

Dan Perry, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'd take Armstrong over every single other person so far mentioned. And Holiday ...
Eartha Kitt made a great jazz record (maybe more: I've only got one) — brilliant brilliant rhythmatist, no stupid bebop wibbling...

mark s, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

What rubbish. Louis Armstrong was not only the single most important musician of the 20th Century, he was the most important and most influential singer as well. Just try to listen to pre-Satchmo pop vocalists with a straight face. He taught the world (pop world, anyway) how to sing. For sheer vocal genius, check out his versions of "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Lazy River," "Stardust," and so on and so on.

Jim McGaw, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't not mention him 'cause I don't like him, I just didn't mention him because WELL DUH, you know? BTW does anyone know, is that story true about him conning the Prez of the USA (mighta bin Nixon , can't remember) into carrying his bag containing his pot stash off the aeroplane & thru customs for him? prob'ly not but i hope so.

duane, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Louis Armstrong was not only the single most important musician of the 20th Century

That's awfully "Ken Burns' Jazz", don't you think? Not to mention that I don't agree. Trying to create some sort of hierarchy of musical greatness or importance isn't particularly productive -- there are too many apples and oranges, for starters.

And even if the hierarchy were valuable, I probably wouldn't put Armstrong at the top, great as he was. If it had to be a jazz musician, I'd probably pick Miles Davis. But that's more a matter of opinion.

Phil, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Louis Armstrong was not only the single most important musician of the 20th Century ...

I stand by my statement. Awfully "Ken Burns"? You think Ken Burns was the first person to rank Louis Armstrong so highly? Saying Louis Armstrong is the most -- or at least one of the most -- musicians of the 20th century is so obvious it's almost redundant. Miles Davis? I love him, but by his own admission he wouldn't have had a career without Pops. Miles's influence was primarily on jazz only. while Armstrong's was on pop music in general. See the difference? And besides, we're talking about jazz SINGERS. Again, I challenge anyone who can find me a singer -- jazz or otherwise -- who has had such a dramatic impact on his art than Armstrong. No one knew HOW to sing pop music before his arrival.

Jim McGaw, Wednesday, 3 October 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Billie Holiday is the only jazz vocalist I truly love, but I think I could grow to like others.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 23 October 2002 18:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

it combines the worst aspects of jazz (sterility, necrophilia, stagnation) and pop (endless posturing and the fetishization of ignorance and incompetence)

this is a wild statement! care to expand upon this Phil?

does the description of pop here = jazzism?

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 18:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

also, necrophilia?

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 18:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Jazz vocals can be wonderful, but I find it hard to stomach some of the more "clever" performers (like Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg), people who seem to be able to make their mouths wink and nudge and give an unspoken subtext of "ISN'T THIS FUNNY??" Annie Ross used to do this, but not so much anymore since her voice deepened.

My favorite jazz vocalist: Eddie Jefferson.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

shiiiiiiiiit, most of the jazz i listen to has vocals. more of the late 60s - 70s spiritual vibe

leon thomas is one of my favorites. all of his Flying Dutchman albums are great, as are everything he recorded with pharoah sanders. there are some dud songs (the bad calypso track) and the Full Circle album is kinda weak.

pharoh has a few albums w/vocals but w/o leon that are great "Village of the Pharoahs" with Seditarius Brown and "Wisdom Through Music". both beautiful Impulse albums

Max Roach has done wonderful things with vocals. his wife Abbey Lincoln sang on a few beautiful albums, "Freedom Now Suite" is wonderful. and he's done a bunch of stuff with jazz choruses. they're arranged so strangely. check out "It's Time" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (the second one is more gospel mixed with jazz).

Very similar to the Roach album "It's time" with weirdly arranged chorus is Bobby Hutcherson's "Now". one of my all time favorite albums. Eugene McDaniels is featured singer. the album almost sounds like a musical or something, but it's firmly rooted in a dark jazz sound.

another great jazz singer is Andy Bey. he's appeared on Roach's "Members, Don't Git Weary" and on solo albums.

Don Cherry sings occasionally, and his Codona (COllin walcott, DOn cherry, and NAna vasconcelos) albums are a wonderful mix of vocals, jazz and world music.

two more husband wife jazz player/singers are Michal Urbaniak and his wife Urszula Dudziak (fusion-y) and Doug Carn and his wife Jean (soulful, funky jazz)

and last but not least is Patty Waters who recorded an album for ESP on recomendation of Albert Ayler. the first half is smokey bar room ballads, and the second half is freaked out fucked up free jazz where her vocals compare to Yoko Ono and Linda Sharrock

JasonD, Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

SOme that are definitely classic: Anita O'Day, Blossom Dearie, Johnny Hartman, Chet Baker, Astrud Gilberto (if you wanna consider her as jazz)

g (graysonlane), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

June Christy isn;t bad either.

g (graysonlane), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Johnny Hartman

What a voice.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Jimmy Scott

Having recently gotten the reissue of Falling in Love is Wonderful from Rhino, all I can say is that the man is a national treasure.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 23 October 2002 19:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Flora Purim and Fontella Bass.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Thursday, 24 October 2002 05:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

favourite jazz vocalist: linda sharrock! (though i'll be gettin patty waters soon so we'll see).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 24 October 2002 08:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

x-post--- Porter has that jazzier Bill Withers thing going nicely

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:26 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Really enjoying Porter's latest Take Me to the Alley plus his prior one Liquid Spirit,

I hear some Donny Hathaway as well in his voice

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 May 2016 04:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Day Dream is a top jam, so is most of the album. Will be checking out some more Porter.

calzino, Friday, 27 May 2016 08:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Gregory Porter is at the Howard Theatre in W. DC tonight Monday

curmudgeon, Monday, 6 June 2016 13:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Gregory Porter was pretty good at that sold-out almost hour and a half Howard Theatre gig. Didn't catch the names of the bandmembers--piano, bassist (acoustic mostly but electric on a few) and drums. He covered the Temps "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," and did a bit of Sly Stone "Thank You", a number of songs from the new one and various older cuts. He's got a warm Bill Withers meets Donny Hathaway thing going and I like it, plus a bit of jazz scat and swing.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 June 2016 13:48 (one year ago) Permalink

The Jazz Times and Downbeat writers I was talking to at the Jazz Singers exhibit at the Library of Congress, like Porter but love Cecile Mclorin Salvant

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 June 2016 13:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Turns out the First Lady was there with gal pals at the Gregory Porter show I saw.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 June 2016 20:17 (one year ago) Permalink

x-post-

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jazz-singers/

curmudgeon, Thursday, 9 June 2016 20:19 (one year ago) Permalink

the impression I got from Cecile Mclorin Salvant's last album was that she has a wonderful voice + bluesy mannerisms, but she is too much of a stylist and doesn't put enough of herself into the songs.

calzino, Thursday, 9 June 2016 21:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Still going through Gregory Porter's catalog, will get to Salvant soon

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 June 2016 20:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Camila Meza adds some nice vox to the latest Ryan Keberle & Catharsis album. Each song on the album is a tribute to a different South American composer and it is all very nice.

calzino, Saturday, 18 June 2016 12:19 (one year ago) Permalink

Interesting review of her Traces effort here, will check her singing and guitar playing out:

http://www.popmatters.com/review/camila-meza-traces/

Traces is her third outing as a leader but her first in New York. The trio behind her (Shai Maestro on keys, Matt Penman on bass, and Kendrick Scott’s drums) is fleet and fantastic, and she supplements it with some harmony vocal from Sachal Vasandani, as well as percussion and cello. But at its core, this is a quartet record that puts Meza out front as a singer, a songwriter, and a guitarist — with both strong and appealing ideas in each role.

...That is to say, Meza is not like the talented but oh-so-throwback-sounding Cecile McLorin Savant, whose updating of Sarah Vaughan is big at Jazz at Lincoln Center but sounds unaffected by the last 50 years of jazz singing. Her instrument, however, is less affected than that of Gretchen Parlato, less soul-driven than Somi, and less avant-pop than Cassandra Wilson. Meza manages to suggest her connection to Ella and Joni Mitchell at the same time while being tied to singing from other cultures too. The current singer she reminds me of most may be Luciana Souza, from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

curmudgeon, Monday, 20 June 2016 15:27 (one year ago) Permalink

All the players on that Catharsis record are super nice people in addition to being great musicians. Still haven't got around to listening to it myself.

Poe, I know all about Ulalume (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:13 (one year ago) Permalink

I have just been listening to the velvet huskiness of Pauline Jean (a NYC based singer with Haitian roots) on her Nwayo album, top stuff.

calzino, Saturday, 25 June 2016 13:20 (one year ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Annie Ross is turning 86 tomorrow. Here is a very interesting interview with her from last year:
http://jazztimes.com/articles/167330-a-conversation-with-vocal-legend-annie-ross

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 14:43 (one year ago) Permalink

killer free show at noon this thursday in Brooklyn with Charenee Wade, Brianna Thomas and Catherine Russell
http://www.bam.org/music/2016/ladies-sing-the-blues
if you dig female vocalists and live in the nyc area, this is not to be missed.

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Sunday, 24 July 2016 17:13 (one year ago) Permalink

Ah. Would go. But noon doesn't work. Loved hearing Catherine Russell interviewed a few months ago on WBGO on Singers Unlimited, which I am listening to right now, about her mother and her project with Carolyn Leonhart and one other vocalist.

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 17:52 (one year ago) Permalink

Tanya Hall

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 17:53 (one year ago) Permalink

Aargh.
La Tanya Hall

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 17:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Also, don't want to turn into the street team, but Gabrielle Stravelli's Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer tribute at Kitano the Wednesday before last was killer.

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:03 (one year ago) Permalink

love the shamelessness of old-ilx on here. i own three compact discs and here is my opinion of teh vocal jazz!

scott seward, Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:03 (one year ago) Permalink

You gotta crawl before you can creep, don't you?

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:05 (one year ago) Permalink

btw, Gregory Porter doing a free show at Celebrate BK this Thursday
http://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/bric-celebrate-brooklyn-festival/gregory-porter-marcus-strickland-twi-life

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Still haven't seen him. I may have mentioned on this thread or another that I saw bass player I think he usually uses, Aaron James, as a sub on a Junior Mance gig and he killed it.

The Professor of Hard Rain (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:12 (one year ago) Permalink

watched this recently. short film. i dug the rehearsal stuff with her group.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Weuqez4HfJ8

scott seward, Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:13 (one year ago) Permalink

xp Porter's okay; a little too mellow for me but the Rawls-level of quality is kinda undeniable.
Curious to see Marcus Strickland live.

thrusted pelvis-first back (ulysses), Sunday, 24 July 2016 18:14 (one year ago) Permalink

You'll just have to make do with Gregory Porter singing "Holding On" with Brit electro act Disclosure

curmudgeon, Monday, 25 July 2016 14:08 (one year ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

the impression I got from Cecile Mclorin Salvant's last album was that she has a wonderful voice + bluesy mannerisms, but she is too much of a stylist and doesn't put enough of herself into the songs.

― calzino, Thursday, June 9, 2016 9:06 PM (ten months ago)

Saw her live last night with her pianist Aaron Diehl. Voice and choice of songs sounded great live. She is definitely a musical theatre type but with a strong gutbucket bluesy passion, and in introducing the songs always mentioned the lyrical messages. 2 Jelly Roll Morton ones, 3 or 4 Cole Porter, Gershwin from Porgy & Bess, a Nancy Wilson number and more

curmudgeon, Sunday, 9 April 2017 22:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

i love her to death but i prob have already said this.

Bobson Dugnutt (ulysses), Sunday, 9 April 2017 22:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm a big Helen Merrill fan. Anyone else?
― Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Sunday, March 13, 2005 8:46 AM (twelve years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The self titled Helen Merrill album with Clifford Brown is sublime. "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" is so yummy.
― todd (todd), Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:50 PM (twelve years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Helen Merrill is incredible. I found a really nice copy of this Japanese vinyl box set of her complete Mercury recordings. She was (and still is!) a treasure, super underrated.

https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol16/783/783097/2636714-big/The-Complete-Helen-Merrill-On-Mercury-CD1-cover.jpg

nomar, Sunday, 9 April 2017 23:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

who a friend recommended Helen Merrill to me this afternoon, specifically w/Clifford Brown, tonight I look here and that ol' ILM magic strikes again *serendipity*

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 10 April 2017 02:10 (eight months ago) Permalink

i meant wow not who

Dogshit Critic (m coleman), Monday, 10 April 2017 02:12 (eight months ago) Permalink

Huh will have to checkbout merrill

Οὖτις, Monday, 10 April 2017 02:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

Wtf

She has one child, known professionally as Alan Merrill, by her first marriage. A singer and songwriter, who wrote and recorded the original (1975) version of the rock classic "I Love Rock N Roll" as lead vocalist of Arrows, the British band.

Οὖτις, Monday, 10 April 2017 02:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

Also check her albums with Gil Evans and Stan Getz.

dow, Monday, 10 April 2017 03:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

listening to both the new Cecile McLorin Salvant and Zara McFarlane albums today, and loving both of them so far.

calzino, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 12:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Gilles Peterson has been pushing Zara McFarlane a lot on his 6Music show. She's also on his record label...hmmm.
I'm currently enjoying Oscar Jerome (another Moses Boyd collaborator): a bit of a John Martynish thing going on.

mahb, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I don't feel so guilty about leeching it off slsk now :p

calzino, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 13:44 (two months ago) Permalink

I have a weirdly negative visceral reaction to lush, velvety jazz vocal records, like Ella with big band stuff -- she's an undeniably brilliant singer, but I just don't enjoy listening. I love Louis Armstrong's vocals on the early hot fives and sevens records but I feel the same way about his later more hi-fi recordings as I do about Ella's. Generally it's pretty rare that I feel an urge to put on a jazz vocals record.

IF (Terrorist) Yes, Explain (man alive), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 15:18 (two months ago) Permalink

Salvant album has been a regular joy for me since it came out... takes awhile to blossom imo but is a likely best of the year contender

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 16:47 (two months ago) Permalink

I felt her last album was a bit too mannered or something, but the live album format has been a much better showcase for vocal talents imo.
xp
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie was the album that converted this Ella agnostic.

calzino, Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:03 (two months ago) Permalink

i agree with you on salvant calzino, last album was a bit disappointing.
she's spectacular in person live btw

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 11 October 2017 21:39 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

currently chilling to Natasha Agrama's The Heart Of Infinite Change.

calzino, Saturday, 28 October 2017 16:05 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

The Hilary Gardner/Ehud Asherie album The Late Set is some really elegant + classy torch singer/piano versions of lesser known American Standards. Nice!

calzino, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 13:29 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Ooh, this is nice! Thanks for the tip.

the young, low level volunteer named (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 19:12 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Yes. Nice enough

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 16:48 (three weeks ago) Permalink

May be time to head up to the Metropolitan Room to see Annie Ross again

Modern Zounds in Undiscovered Country (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 November 2017 16:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

there is no metropolitan room! they're doing stuff at the Triad and moving, but haven't announced where to yet. Ross not on the lineup atm.

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Friday, 24 November 2017 19:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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