Albums

£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | RCA Bluebird

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Carmen McRae, a good friend of Thelonious Monk, sang 13 of his songs (two of which are also heard in different live versions) on this memorable project. Half of the lyrics are by Jon Hendricks, while the remainder were written by Abbey Lincoln ("Blue Monk"), Bernie Hanighen, Sally Swisher, or Mike Ferro. On all but the two concert performances, McRae is assisted by tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, pianist Eric Gunnison, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Al Foster; Mraz's solos are particularly impressive, although everyone is in sensitive form. The live recordings give listeners two more chances to acknowledge the uniqueness of tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse's tone. As for McRae, her phrasing has rarely sounded better than on this classic set, and it is a particular pleasure to hear her interpret the intelligent lyrics and unusual melodies. "Dear Ruby" ("Ruby, My Dear") and "Listen to Monk" ("Rhythm-A-Ning") are among the high points of the essential and very delightful CD. An inspired idea and one of the best recordings of Carmen McRae's career. ~ Scott Yanow
£13.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Pacific Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
£55.99

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
£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Vocalist Blossom Dearie's Summetime is a low-key collection of chamber-jazz arranged for a small trio. Working with guitarist Mundell Lowe, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen, Dearie sings the material with a gentle conviction; she may never sound passionate, but she never sounds like she doesn't care. The result is a pleasant record, that might never be a compelling listen, but it's never a bad one. ~ Thom Owens
£6.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Throughout the '90s the smoky-voiced contralto Cassandra Wilson has shunned piano accompaniment in favor of close-miked acoustic guitars, evoking a moodily sensual atmosphere in which pop, blues, country and straight jazz vocals all merge together. It helps that Wilson has a distinctly Southern blues cast to her singing, a quality immediately apparent on "Run The Voodoo Down," the funky opener to TRAVELING MILES, her impeccably self-produced homage to Miles Davis. As is her wont, Wilson has chosen to mix it up on this tribute, setting lyrics to Davis compositions such as "Blue In Green," "Tutu" and "ESP" while reprising two favorite Miles covers, "Someday My Prince Will Come" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." The singer also contributes some of her own welcome originals such as the poppish "Right Here, Right Now," which itself sounds like a tribute to Joni Mitchell, another mentor-spirit hovering over the proceedings. The set closes with a playful reprise of "Voodoo," featuring a sisterly duet with African singer Angelique Kidjo, who sounds right at home.
£7.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard - Stereophile: Record To Die For
Once Nat King Cole gave up playing piano on a regular basis and instead focused on a series of easy listening vocal albums, jazz fans longed for him to return to his first love. These 1956 studio sessions made up Cole's last jazz-oriented disc, where he played piano and sang on every number, joined by several guest soloists. Cole's vocals are impeccable and swinging, while his piano alternates between providing subdued backgrounds and light solos that don't reveal his true potential on the instrument. Willie Smith's smooth alto sax buoys the singer in the brisk take of "Just You, Just Me." Harry "Sweets" Edison's muted trumpet complements the leader in his interpretation of "Sweet Lorraine." Composer Juan Tizol's valve trombone and former Cole sideman Jack Costanzo's bongos add just the right touch to the brisk take of "Caravan." Stuff Smith's humorous, unusually understated violin is a nice touch in "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." It's hard for any Nat King Cole fan to ignore these important sessions. [The original version of this release featured a dozen tracks, later expanded to 17 in the '80s with the discovery of some unreleased material. Yet another track, the alternate take of "You're Looking at Me," was also found and added to reissues beginning in the late '90s.] ~ Ken Dryden
£16.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Parlophone Catalogue

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A collection drawn from Peggy Lee's two lengthy stints with Capitol Records and from the time she recorded for Decca Records in between, this generous disc includes the 1948 smash "Manana," "Golden Earrings," "Don't Smoke in Bed," and her definitive, sultry version of "Fever." The end result is a nice introduction to this wonderfully vibrant and nuanced singer that brings her work for both labels together, and the difference in quality is negligible. It's a nice place to start. ~ Steve Leggett
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released April 17, 2000 | RCA Victor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£13.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Records

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£8.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | OWL

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£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
£13.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Decca

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Peggy Lee left Capitol in 1952 for, among several other reasons, the label's refusal to let her record and release an exotic, tumultuous version of "Lover." Lee was certainly no Mitch Miller songbird, content to loosen her gorgeous pipes on any piece of tripe foisted upon her; she was a superb songwriter with a knowledge of production and arrangement gained from work in big bands and from her husband, Dave Barbour (although the two weren't together at the time). The more open-minded Decca acquiesced to her demand, and watched its investment pay off quickly when the single became her biggest hit in years. Black Coffee was Lee's next major project. Encouraged by longtime Decca A&R Milt Gabler, she hired a small group including trumpeter Pete Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles (two of her favorite sidemen) to record an after-hours jazz project similar in intent and execution to Lee Wiley's "Manhattan project" of 1950, Night in Manhattan. While the title-track opener of Black Coffee soon separated itself from the LP -- to be taught forever after during the first period of any Torch Song 101 class -- the album doesn't keep to its concept very long; Lee is soon enough in a bouncy mood for "I've Got You Under My Skin" and very affectionate on "Easy Living." (If there's a concept at work here, it's the vagaries of love.) Listeners should look instead to "It Ain't Necessarily So" or "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You?" for more examples of Lee's quintessentially slow-burn sultriness. Aside from occasionally straying off-concept, however, Black Coffee is an excellent record, spotlighting Lee's ability to shine with every type of group and in any context. [When originally recorded and released in 1953, Black Coffee was an eight-song catalog of 78s. Three years later, Decca commissioned an LP expansion of the record, for which Lee recorded several more songs. The 2004 Verve edition is therefore a reissue of the 1956 12-song LP.] ~ John Bush
£13.99

Vocal Jazz - Released April 19, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Most of this highly recommended set is taken from a series of 1957 sessions in which singer Chris Connor exclusively interprets songs of George Gershwin. To fill out the CDs, additional Gershwin cuts from other, otherwise unrelated dates by the vocalist have been added. Connor's cool delivery gives many of the largely familiar songs new life. She is assisted by such fine musicians as trumpeter Joe Newman, tenorman Al Cohn, flutist Herbie Mann, vibraphonist Milt Jackson and pianist Ralph Sharon, who add tasteful and concise solos. Many of the selections were quite rare before this well-conceived and appealing reissue was put together. ~ Scott Yanow
£7.99

Vocal Jazz - Released May 17, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£19.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Polydor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Genre

Vocal Jazz in the magazine