Albums

£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
£13.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | GRP

This CD features a logical combination: singer Diane Schuur with the Count Basie big band. In what would be longtime rhythm guitarist Freddie Green's final performance, Schuur and the Basie ghost band (under the direction of Frank Foster) perform material that includes her standards (such as "Deedles' Blues" and "Climbing Higher Mountains"), Dave Brubeck's "Travlin' Blues" and the Joe Williams-associated "Everyday I Have The Blues." Unfortunately, the Basie band is mostly used in accompaniment without any significant solos, but Schuur sounds quite comfortable in this format and her voice is in prime form. ~ Scott Yanow
£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
To much of the pop (as opposed to the jazz) audience, Chet Baker was known not as an able cool jazz trumpeter, but as a romantic balladeer. The two classifications were not mutually exclusive; Baker's vocal numbers would also feature his trumpet playing, as well as fine instrumental support from West Coast cool jazzers. For those who prefer the vocal side of the Baker canon, this is an excellent compilation of his best vintage material in that mode. The 20 tracks draw from sessions covering the era when he was generally conceded to be at his vocal peak (1953-1956), and are dominated by standards from the likes of Rodgers & Hart, Carmichael, Gershwin, and Kern. Baker's singing was white and naïve in the best senses, with a quavering, uncertain earnestness that embodied a certain (safe) strain of mid-'50s bohemianism. That's the Baker heard on this collection, which contains some his most famous interpretations, including "My Funny Valentine," "Time After Time," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "Let's Get Lost." ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released March 18, 1991 | RCA Bluebird

The follow-up to the essential Carmen Sings Monk is a tribute to the recently deceased Sarah Vaughan that ranks at the same very high level. Carmen McRae's final recording finds the singer backed by the Shirley Horn Trio (unfortunately, Horn turned down McRae's request to sing a bit) on 13 numbers associated with Sassy, plus Carroll Coates' original "Sarah." On such songs as "Poor Butterfly," "Misty," "Tenderly," "I'll Be Seeing You" and even "Send in the Clowns," McRae brings back the spirit (and some of the phrasing) of Sarah Vaughan while still sounding very much like herself. This very well-conceived tribute is a classic of its kind and a perfect swan song for Carmen McRae. ~ Scott Yanow
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Verve

£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
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Emarcy

Swingin' Easy is one of Sarah Vaughan's lesser known albums for Emarcy, combining two separate trio sessions from 1954 and 1957. The earlier date includes pianist John Malachi (who also worked with singers like Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, and Al Hibbler, plus bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Roy Haynes. Vaughan's lush ballad technique is in full force in "Lover Man," "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," and "Body and Soul," while she scats in a midtempo setting of "If I Knew Then (What I Knew Now)" and her own "Shulie a Bop." The second trio include pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and Haynes. Aside from a brisk, miniature treatment of "Linger Awhile" and a playful setting of "I Cried for You," the session is highlighted by a breezy "All of Me." Vaughan is in terrific form throughout both dates, with the songs mostly running around the three-minute mark. ~ Ken Dryden
£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1995 | Verve

"...If Benton wasn't quite Washington's equal--her extraordinary voice elevated even slight material--his resonant tones complemented her well..." - Rating: B+
£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 30, 1996 | Legacy - Columbia

£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released April 28, 1997 | Columbia - Legacy

£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released May 2, 1997 | Columbia - Legacy

£11.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Pacific Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
£6.99

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£6.99

Vocal Jazz - Released April 1, 1998 | Herald

£16.99

Vocal Jazz - Released July 28, 1998 | RCA Records Label

Nina Simone recorded for RCA Records between 1967 and 1972. While she was in fine form during those years, she didn't make her best records there, and sounded particularly ill at ease whenever she did pop-rock covers, which was more often than she should. However, these songs are selling points for a certain audience, namely the audience RCA is targeting with their generous 40-track collection, The Very Best of Nina Simone. True, her recordings during these five years were a little inconsistent, as she covered the classics, performed new songs, and tackled contemporary material, so perhaps it's fitting that this compilation is also a little schizophrenic. Nevertheless, that doesn't make the compilation much more than an interesting summation of a conflicted, occasionally rewarding, era of Simone's career that will be useful for already-dedicated fans that want to explore a little deeper than just her classic recordings. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£12.49

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.99

Vocal Jazz - Released April 5, 1999 | RCA Victor

Les Double Six of Paris was a French Lambert, Hendricks & Ross -- times-two -- and the striking-looking singer/lyricist Mimi Perrin was their Jon Hendricks. They had a thicker, more intricately arranged texture, impeccable diction, a fine sense of swing and great taste, and this generously loaded CD gives you a good idea of their range with three different lineups of singers. Included here are several transcriptions from the Quincy Jones and Count Basie big bands, the combos of Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Shelly Manne, and others from both genres. There is one unreleased track, a literal, at-length transcription of "Walkin'" à la Quincy Jones. Perrin's interpretation of John Coltrane's "Naima" is a spine-tingler; it must have been tough to nail the intervals of that melody and capture its soul as well. Though he does not take any featured solos, Ward Swingle would soon become the best-known expatriate of the group, going on to form the popular Swingle Singers. To the non-French speaker familiar with vocalese in English, there is something disconcertingly remote about many of these performances; the diction is so precise that you feel you're missing a lot of the fun. ~ Richard S. Ginell

Genre

Vocal Jazz in the magazine