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Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews (1339)

On her new Jazz CD, "Here's To Love," vocalist Carol Nielsson draws from a career in musical theater to add a fresh, yet comfortable spin on old favorites. She recalls the innocent delivery of Doris Day, her voice both sweet and nuanced. She honors the songs by singing them the way they were written, reminding us why we fell in love with this music in the first place. It doesn't hurt that she has assembled some of the finest musicians on the Pacific Northwest Jazz Scene.
Visual artist, pianist, vocalist, and composer Meredith d'Ambrosio has quietly been releasing critically acclaimed recordings since 1978.  Never one to push recordings on her fans, By Myself is her first release since 2006.  This new 2011 recording features, exclusively, the songs of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz and is framed only by her voice and sparse piano playing.
Vocalist Rene Marie's seventh CD as a leader, Voice Of My Beautiful Country, borrows heavily from Americana as well as, what appears on almost every jazz vocalist's recording recently, a number of standards drawn from the wider rock world.  The best part of the recording is how Marie proves there is great depth that can be mined from songs many of us grew up on.  "O Shenandoah," for example, gets an extended treatment that is so free flowing and open to possibilities one can't help but imagine it's this arrangement of the folk song getting called up on gigs. 
It has to have been difficult for Lorraine Feather.  Her father, Leonard Feather, was the man who not only singlehandedly defined the role of the modern jazz critic, but was also arguably the greatest jazz journalist ever.  That's a huge shadow to grow up under, especially if the daughter has talents and ambitions that heavily lean towards the aural arts.  Lorraine, however, has fashioned a career that is apologetic to no one.
I've been listening to Sir Paul McCartney's newest CD Kisses on the Bottom for a number of hours on repeat. I have to say this at the outset ... It truly is an outstanding piece of music. The songs are well chosen, heartfelt and beautiful to listen to. They conjure romantic yearnings easily and effortlessly as McCartney delivers up his captivating vocals ... along with Eric Clapton's jazzy guitar riffs, Diana Krall's beautiful piano playing and Stevie Wonder's enchanting harmonica work.
When Diane Schuur burst on the national scene in 1985 with the release of her Deedles recording on GRP, the world was treated to an exceptional vocalist who had strengths in jazz and jazz-pop crossover.  Her string of hit records was aided by not just topnotch production and producing via her partnership with the Dave Grusin - Larry Rosen brain trust, but also a selection of material that fit her voice and abilities in way that has rarely been seen since.  Add to this her abundant skill on piano, which is subtle and always overlooked, and you had an artist…
Vocalist and composer Michael Franks has had a long career of which anyone would be envious. Since his launching pad hit “Popsicle Toes,” Franks has consistently released strong jazz oriented recordings featuring the best jazz musicians in both backing and featured roles. Like Kenny Rankin, Franks found a unique way to present his soft pop without ever sounding dated. Time Together is yet another fantastic Franks release featuring the best jazz musicians sweetly swinging behind Franks’ eye-winking lyrics.
After 75 Years is an ambitious work. Macy Chen has created a concept album of sorts about the parallel lives of herself and her grandfather. Both Chen and her grandfather, Chin-Chang Liu, had left their homes in Taiwan to pursue jazz music, against the practical wisdom of their friends and family. Though she never met her grandfather, Macy Chen always felt a connection with him through jazz music.

Zaz by Zaz

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Zaz is the impressive debut album by the French jazz-pop artist of the same name. Zaz takes a fresh and open-minded approach to her music. Gypsy jazz rhythms, pop hooks and Mills Brothers-esque vocal solos collide in a cohesive and fully realized musical vision. The blend of styles never seems awkward, pretentious or contrived. At its best, this album contains legitimately great pop music. Even at its worst, these songs still tower above their Top 40 pop peers.

Putamayo Presents Jazz

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Aficionados and neophytes alike should feel equally welcome when listening to Jazz, the accessible history lesson produced by Putamayo. Although this 12-song compilation presents an audio array that reaches as high as Blossom Dearie's top-shelf timbre on "They Say It's Spring," to the joint-jumping horns on Maxine Sullivan's " 'Taint No Use," the consistent core from start to finish remains a simple, steady swing that says plenty in a very limited time. For the aficionado, these classics are reminders about the art form's origins. For the neophyte, they serve as starting points that invite further exploration.


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Colin Hunter is a Toronto-based vocalist who sings as a passionate hobby. He sings the standards from that period of time when jazz was the popular music of the day. His style of singing is a classic mix of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Perry Como.
Judy Wexler looms large in the relatively small world of jazz vocalists, and this recording, Under a Painted Sky, will certainly attest to that. Wexler is accompanied by some of the most talented musicians in the jazz idiom, a perfect assemblage of formidable artists to complete this musical tableau.On "And I Hoped For Your Love" Judy Wexler lays it all on the line as she interprets the lyrics to this song of sorrow with her soul bared. Alan Pasqua adds his magical touch to an already elegant tu
I must confess, I have never heard of Cinzia Spata. While I have been broadening my horizons with respect to international talent lately, and Italy has been a source of some fine musicians, vocalists, jazz vocalists have not been a major find. Until now that is! Cinzia Spata's voice is beyond my writing capability to describe here. On her KOINÃ records release, Into the Moment, I discovered that she is a jazz vocalist extraordinaire. The opening track is a piece by Keith Jarrett entitled "Questa
Jane Stuart, a New Jersey vocalist, has released her second CD Don't Look Back on JSM records. This multi-talented performer has been singing for a long time, since the age of five. The maturity of her instrument is evidenced by her skilled phrasing and overall command of the genre of jazz. Stuart worked with her long-time collaborator Rave Tesar (arranging, keyboards, engineering, mixing, and mastering) to produce this collection of notable tunes from composers such as Cole Porter, the Gershwin
This CD, Dream On, by New Hampshire-based Kathleen Kolman, was one of those incredible surprises that one stumbles on every now and then. Until you listen, one cannot appreciate the rich, deep tonality of Kolman's voice. Not only am I surprised at the beauty of this unique voice, I am intrigued at the application of this voice to the popular Latin and original tunes."Dream On," the title track, is in fact, that Aerosmith classic by Steven Tyler. In Kolman's hands, this is a soulful and passionat
“Tight rhythm section, exquisite solo work that enhances my singing, not overpowering it… There is a strong unity of the musicians, the vocals and the arrangements. Dynamic!” quotes Ms. Stuart, thinking back to her studio memories on Don’t Look Back. Since her debut with Beginning to See the Light, Ms. Stuart has reached another level in her career with this project, as her diversity and innovative studio work mold into a newer and revitalizing sound. The dynamics of the music, the thought proce
A young Italian vocalist from Naples with a persuasive sway describes music this way, “Music could perhaps be called the most truly human form of dialogue among people.” The assured artist is Eugenia Munari and her passion… jazz. Ms. Munari’s tone of voice can be diversely described numerous ways, but correctly stated; it would diabolically seductive with an energized feel. The rhythms would ignite the most stoic pulse into frenzy. Her debut project Challenge has by far a unique “slip into the s
Jo Thompson shows she’s only getting better with age on Forever Fabulous. The octogenarian is in fine form leading the J.C. Heard Orchestra, under musical director Walt Szymanski, through 15 jazz and blues jewels. The singer-pianist sets the tone for the album by leading off with a strong, high-energy version of “Bye Bye Blackbird” that will transport listeners back to the big band days. Thompson is the smart, sassy girl singer and more. She offers thoroughly engaging performances of “Gee Baby A
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