Albums

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Verve

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released May 20, 2013 | Le Chant du Monde

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Capitol Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard - Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1956 | Clef Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Exceptional sound - Hi-Res Audio
Singer Cassandra Wilson, who has had a rather diverse career that has ranged from the free funk of M-Base to standards à la Betty Carter, has in recent times adopted a folk-oriented style a little reminiscent of Nina Simone. On New Moon Daughter her repertoire ranges from U2 to Son House, from Hoagy Carmichael to Hank Williams ("I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"); it is certainly the only album ever that contains both the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Strange Fruit." This CD is a surprise best-seller, for Wilson's voice actually sounds quite bored and emotionally detached. She deserves great credit for stretching herself, but one has to dig deep to find any warmth in her overly cool approach. ~ Scott Yanow
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Polydor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | FRANK SINATRA DIGITAL REPRISE

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released April 1, 1957 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | FRANK SINATRA DIGITAL REPRISE

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Philips

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If this is blues, it's blues in the Billie Holiday sense, not the Muddy Waters one. This is one of Nina Simone's more subdued mid-'60s LPs, putting the emphasis on her piano rather than band arrangements. It's rather slanted toward torch-blues ballads like "Strange Fruit," "Trouble in Mind," Billie Holiday's own composition "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." Simone's then-husband, Andy Stroud, wrote "Be My Husband," an effective adaptation of a traditional blues chant. By far the most impressive track is her frantic ten-minute rendition of the traditional "Sinnerman," an explosive tour de force that dwarfs everything else on the album. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Warner Jazz

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The recording history of Little Jimmy Scott is peppered with long hiatuses from the studio. He was absent for a period of seven years from 1962 to 1969 and then for more than 15 years from 1975 to 1990. Bordering on singing in the range of a counter tenor, Scott brings a distinctive, immediately recognizable sound and sensitivity to material he sings. It is hard to find any other vocalist, other than Billie Holiday, who matches Scott's depth of emotion that he applies to the classic standards he favors. All the Way was recorded more than 40 years after Scott made his first album for Roost. Over those years, even with his long absences, he has been able to command the services of top of the line musicians. He is one of those rare vocalists that jazz musicians like to be on the stage or in the studio with. And this album is no exception, featuring an all-star lineup that includes Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Grady Tate on rhythm. David "Fathead" Newman's soulful sax on such cuts as "All the Way" compliments Scott's delivery perfectly. Like Scott, Newman leaves abundant room between the measures to allow the song to breathe, the listeners to gain the full flavor of what he has played and to anticipate what's to follow in a second or two. On such tunes as "Angel Eyes" and "At Last," Scott's delivery goes beyond mere poignancy, and moves close to reverence, such respect he has for the classics he has put in the song list. This is good stuff. Strings magically appear on some tracks. But they are done tastefully and don't get in the way. Jimmy McDonough's knowledgeable highlights of Scott's career are a welcome added attraction. ~ Dave Nathan
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
Jazz songwriter and pianist Patricia Barber's 2006 album Mythologies, a song cycle based on Ovid's Metamorphosis, is a sprawling work of poetic and musical adventure. Upon its release, it garnered universal acclaim from critics and responsive concert audiences across the United States and Europe. After this rigorous undertaking, Barber could have been forgiven for taking a breather. And on its surface, that seems to be what the Cole Porter Mix is. But in Barber's case, this is far from true. While she claims in her bio that she's been singing his songs for years, and that he's her favorite songwriter, she does anything but a "standard" read on his tunes, though she never undermines their integrity. The album is called a "mix" because Barber has woven three of her own tunes -- written after the manner of Porter's -- into the fabric of the album. Given her austere yet highly original readings of his songs, they fit in seamlessly. She is accompanied here by her longtime backing group of Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), and Eric Montzka (drums), with drummer Nate Smith alternating on three tunes, and guest saxophonist Chris Potter appearing on five. Commencing with the opening number "Easy to Love," with its skeletal bossa nova rhythm (Barber doesn't play in the body of the tune and only contributes a wonderfully economical piano solo), and the relative austerity of her voice, it's obvious this isn't an ordinary standards set. She is faithful to the intent of these songs both lyrically and musically, but she shifts their arrangements in such a way that they are more suited to her deliberately restrained singing voice, and her own vocation as a songwriter. It's the songwriter she is paying tribute to here -- not the tradition. "I Concentrate on You" also carries within it the kernel of bossa, but this time, with her piano fills and artfully incisive manner of accenting, to quote Porter, "how strange the change from major to minor" without invoking the blues (the standard for doing so). Barber's pianism is elegantly idiosyncratic, even enigmatic. Her "cool" singing voice peels away the weight these songs have borne over the years, and instead returns to them their subtlety and gentle sense of humorous irony. There are some wild moments here -- such as the Latin polyrhythms at the heart of "In the Still of the Night," that set up a space for some serious blowing tenor by Potter -- but the spirit of "song" is never compromised. Barber's originals are truly canny, empathic evidence of her true understanding of Porter. "Snow," with its minor-key piano intro opens with: "Do you think of me like snow/cool, slippery and white? Do you think of me like jazz/as hip, as black as night?" The mysterious, dull ache of love and lust in "New Year's Eve Song" evokes the forlorn aspect of Porter but the strange, covert voyeurism of poet Robert Lowell's "Eep Hour": "Will he/peek in the mirror while she/knowing he's watching her tease/stripping the gown with ease/bare as the New Year, she/so in love with her is he..." All the while, the sense of a taut harmonic melody is inseparable from the lyrics, unveiling the secret intent in the song for both listener and singer. The Cole Porter Mix is a very modern form of imitation, as evidenced not only by interpretation but in her evocative compositions too; they mark the greatest form of flattery. But it is also an ingenious manner of reconsidering Porter -- and Barber -- with fresh ears. ~ Thom Jurek
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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
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Decca

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard

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Vocal Jazz in the magazine