Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Verve

One of the first box sets for completists only, 1993's ten-disc The Complete Billie Holiday on Verve 1945-1959 was considered nearly a necessity by anyone interested in jazz vocals. Verve returned to the catalog 12 years later with a much tighter, much smarter collection: The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes. Encompassing six discs, the set skips the many live performances and the few alternate takes included on the previous box. Overall, the work compares well to her earlier material for Columbia. Although the old familiar cracks rarely appeared in her voice during her Columbia, Decca, and Commodore years, the song selections weren't all gold, and the needs of that era (the 1930s and '40s) dictated that each side end around the three-minute mark. With Verve during the '50s, Holiday recorded nothing but standards in the studio, and indulged in many longer performances that often resulted in relaxed, methodical songs. Aside from Holiday's mastery of vocal jazz as a form, the practice also allowed for some lengthy, perfectly loving solos by musicians including Ben Webster ("Ill Wind") Harry "Sweets" Edison ("I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "Day in, Day Out"), Benny Carter ("I Get a Kick Out of You," "Prelude to a Kiss"), and Charlie Shavers ("I Wished on the Moon"). If the previous "Complete on Verve" set was an expensive bauble that listeners rarely returned to, this "Complete Verve" is a much brighter proposition. (The accordion-like packaging, however, leaves much to be desired.) ~ John Bush

Vocal Jazz - Released October 22, 2001 | Columbia - Legacy


Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
For an overview of Nat "King" Cole's years as a remarkably popular singer, this four-CD box would be difficult to top. Containing 100 songs spanning a 20-year period, this box has virtually all of Cole's hits, some of his best jazz sides, and more than its share of variety, including a humorous previously unreleased version of "Mr. Cole Won't Rock & Roll." Recommended to beginners and veteran collectors alike, its attractive booklet is also a major asset. ~ Scott Yanow

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Capitol Records


Vocal Jazz - Released July 30, 2013 | RCA - Legacy

Nina Simone was a singular artist, and she went where she pleased, leaving behind a recorded legacy that is passionate, political, defiant, and delicate by turns, no matter what strain of folk, blues, jazz, or gospel she was dipping into, and she did it all with dignity, grace, and intelligence. This set collects all nine of her albums for RCA Records (released between 1967 and 1974), and thus includes some of her greatest recordings. Signature songs like "I Loves You, Porgy," "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" (in a couple of versions), and "Mississippi Goddam" (a Simone original -- one wishes she had written more than she did) are all here, along with powerful versions of songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Willie Dixon, the Beatles, and Randy Newman, among others. Simone didn't just sing a song. She made it hers. ~ Steve Leggett

Vocal Jazz - Released April 6, 2018 | Verve Reissues


Vocal Jazz - Released September 27, 2010 | Fremeaux Heritage


Vocal Jazz - Released October 2, 2012 | TPX


Vocal Jazz - Released October 2, 2012 | TPX


Vocal Jazz - Released June 18, 2007 | Capitol Records

A reasonable sampler featuring several Wilson hits from the '60s and '70s. Although it's impossible to fully convey the depth of her career from one album, this set at least didn't skimp on the jazz and blues numbers that earned her her reputation. ~ Ron Wynn

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard

Vocal Jazz - Released May 2, 2012 | Le Chant du Monde


Vocal Jazz - Released March 2, 2018 | Alma Records HD


Vocal Jazz - Released December 29, 2017 | AAO Music

Download not available

Vocal Jazz - Released October 22, 2012 | Infinity


Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | FRANK SINATRA DIGITAL REPRISE

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Vocal Jazz - Released August 2, 1993 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard - Stereophile: Record To Die For
These recordings can be considered the final ones of Betty Carter's early period for, by the time she next appeared on record (in 1969), the singer was much more adventurous in her improvisations. This CD reissues eight selections from Carter's rather brief 1964 Roulette LP (under 26 minutes), plus it adds seven previously unissued numbers from 1965. On the former date Carter (who is quite memorable on "This Is Always," "Some Other Time," and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most") is accompanied by pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Roy McCurdy, while the "new" session ("There Is No Greater Love" and "You're a Sweetheart" are the standouts) features guitarist Kenny Burrell plus an unknown rhythm section in the backup band. Highly recommended to Betty Carter fans and to those listeners who find her later work somewhat forbidding. ~ Scott Yanow

Vocal Jazz - Released October 2, 2006 | Parlophone UK

Roulette, the same label that brought the world Jimmie F. Rodgers' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and Joey Dee's "Peppermint Twist," also recorded some wonderful vocal sessions on Joe Williams, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan. While most of these were dates for ballads and lush strings, they also allowed their artists latitude for a variety of settings. When a Sarah Vaughan album titled After Hours sold better than others -- despite featuring only guitar and bass accompaniment -- they replicated the formula for 1962's wonderful Sarah + 2. Only the personnel changed; Barney Kessel took over from Mundell Lowe, while Joe Comfort stood in for George Duvivier on bass. The results are excellent, highlighting the power of Vaughan's voice, whether she's singing a rosy "All I Do Is Dream of You" or one of the most turgid torch songs, "All or Nothing at All." Her best feature is "When Sunny Gets Blue," a spotlight for her dynamic range. ~ John Bush

Vocal Jazz - Released October 2, 2006 | Parlophone UK


Vocal Jazz - Released September 10, 2007 | Parlophone UK


Vocal Jazz in the magazine