Albums

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Recorded at the Village Vanguard with a great quartet (including guest Kenny Burrell on guitar), Chris in Person finds vocal heavyweight Chris Connor showing an even better sense of chops and swing as on her studio dates. She gets off to a great start with the apt "Strike up the Band," torches her way through a few of her standards ("Lover Come Back to Me," "Angel Eyes," "'Round Midnight"), and shows she can swing in a soul groove with an ebullient cover of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Him So." Add in a pair of songs, "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "All About Ronnie," known best (if at all) as Chris Connor songs, and fans of the best cool singer of the '50s get a rich, dynamic live set showing Connor lighting up a crowd. ~ John Bush
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Riverside

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
The ultra-hip and sophisticated "cool jazz" that Chet Baker (trumpet/vocals) helped define in the early '50s matured rapidly under the tutelage of producer Dick Bock. This can be traced to Baker's earliest sides on Bock's L.A.-based Pacific Jazz label. This album is the result of Baker's first sessions for the independent Riverside label. The Chet Baker Quartet featured on Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen to You includes Kenny Drew (piano), Sam Jones (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). (Performances by bassist George Morrow and drummer Dannie Richmond are featured on a few cuts.) This results in the successful combination of Baker's fluid and nonchalant West Coast delivery with the tight swinging accuracy of drummer Jones and pianist Drew. Nowhere is this balance better displayed than the opening and closing sides on the original album, "Do It the Hard Way" and "Old Devil Moon," respectively. One immediate distinction between these vocal sides and those recorded earlier in the decade for Pacific Jazz is the lissome quality of Baker's playing and, most notably, his increased capacity as a vocalist. The brilliant song selection certainly doesn't hurt either. This is an essential title in Chet Baker's 30-plus year canon. [Some reissues contain two bonus tracks, "I'm Old Fashioned" and "While My Lady Sleeps"]. ~ Lindsay Planer
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 1, 2015 | Jazz Village

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

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Vocal Jazz - Released August 1, 2008 | Jazz Door

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Vocal Jazz - Released July 3, 2015 | Winter & Winter

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Vocal Jazz - Released October 20, 2016 | Ecl3ctic

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Vocal Jazz - Released August 27, 2013 | Bethlehem Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 30, 2014 | Bethlehem Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Eden River Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 20, 1958 | Capitol Records

Many of singer June Christy's popular Capitol albums feature her cool-toned vocals backed by an orchestra. This recording is an exception. Christy excels on a jazz-oriented set with a nonet that includes trumpeter Ed Leddy, trombonist Frank Rosolino and her husband Bob Cooper (who arranged the set) on tenor and oboe. Christy accurately called this music "intimate swing." Her versions of such songs as "I'm Glad There Is You," "My One and Only Love," "When Lights Are Low" and "Blue Moon" are tasteful, sincere and often quite memorable. ~ Scott Yanow
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 28, 2014 | Bethlehem Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released November 3, 2003 | Saga

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1978 | Pablo

This set features the great Sarah Vaughan in a typically spontaneous Norman Granz production for Pablo with pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Louie Bellson. Sassy sounds wonderful stretching out on such songs as "Midnight Sun," "More Than You Know," "Teach Me Tonight," and "Body and Soul," among others. All ten of the melodies are veteran standards that she knew backwards but still greeted with enthusiasm. A very good example of late-period Sarah Vaughan. ~ Scott Yanow
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Vocal Jazz - Released March 25, 2016 | Harbinger Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Concord Records

For her entry into the increasingly popular Great American Songbook subgenre, Diane Schuur de-emphasizes the vocal histrionics that in the past have come close to spoiling some of her recordings and maintains a steady, clear, exuberant tone. Good move: one of Schuur's gifts is her multi-octave range, but she has often over-relied on it at the expense of whatever song she was singing. Here, she takes to the classic compositions of George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, and the like with a respectfulness and glee that allow her to frame and expose these culturally embedded lyrics and melodies without beating on them. If anything, Schuur is overly cautious at times -- there's a girl-like quality to her voice here that belies her 50-plus years, and she sometimes lays back where before she might have trampled. But she's clearly enjoying this repertoire; it's as if, by exploring these ancient tunes, she's discovered a fountain of youth along the way. Accompanied by longtime pianist Randy Porter, as well as guitarist Dan Balmer, bassist Scott Steed, and drummer Reggie Jackson, Schuur largely stays in a ballad-to-midtempo range on standards like "Blue Skies," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "My Favorite Things," and Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne's "It's Magic." She's comfortable there, and the lack of a hurried pace allows her to utilize her still impressive range to get the most from the tunes without falling into the trap of milking them. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
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Vocal Jazz - Released May 30, 2011 | Saga

Booklet
Billie Holiday is known best for the depth of feeling in her singing, especially as it relates to melancholy and despair. The Saga compilation Blue Billie isolates the best of her '30s and '40s songs in that vein, and as such includes several of the landmark performances of her career: "Strange Fruit," "Billie's Blues," "My Man," "Fine and Mellow." As only one glimpse of the complete picture of Billie Holiday's talent, Blue Billie isn't a good stand-alone collection, but when paired with Saga's companion volume, Happy Billie, it forms a much better look at one of the best singers in American history. ~ John Bush
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Vocal Jazz - Released August 27, 2013 | Bethlehem Records

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Vocal Jazz - Released May 13, 2013 | Lofa Library Of Fine Arts

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Vocal Jazz - Released March 4, 2014 | Bethlehem Records

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Singer Marilyn Moore was wed to reedist Al Cohn at the time she recorded her lone LP, the aptly titled Bethlehem session Moody Marilyn Moore, but the scarcity of her studio output and the connubial origins of the session shouldn't be considered a condemnation of her talents. Working with a small but beguiling backing unit including Cohn on tenor and bass clarinet, Milt Hinton on bass, Barry Galbraith on guitar, Joe Wilder on trumpet, Don Abney on piano and Osie Johnson on drums, Moore proves herself a first-rate stylist in the Billie Holiday mode, with a lived-in, seen-it-all authority that lends the music a welcome edge. The arrangements perfectly capture a smoky, late-night atmosphere, but it's Moore's vocals that truly underscore the solitude and heartbreak so essential to the record's potency. ~ Jason Ankeny

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Vocal Jazz in the magazine