View Full Version : Trad Pop / Vocal Jazz Album Recommendations
10-11-2011, 10:52 PM
Please recommend more albums of the genre please? WHich are considered the best?
I am currently listening to Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Book, Ella SIngs Gershwin, a bunch of early Sinatras (In The Wee Small Hours, Where are You? Only the Lonely), Helen Merrill, Jo Stafford (Autumn in NY) , a few Julie London albums, Joni James sings Kern, Anita o'Day SIngs the Most, Doris Day, Billie Holiday's Solitude.
Who am I missing? Any must-haves I should have? I just started listening to this type of music a couple of months ago and I would love to listen to some more. THank you.
10-12-2011, 12:24 AM
Mel Torme, fer Pete's sake.
If you're into vocalese (a bebop vocal form), go with Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Also Eddie Jefferson. And King Pleasure (little-known fact about King Pleasure. That was just a stage name; his parents' last name wasn't really Pleasure, and they didn't give him "King" as a first name. But that's not the little-known fact. It's that his real name was Clarence Beeks, which was the name of the villainous private detective played by Paul Gleason in Trading Places).
Also the Manhattan Transfer (as long as Jon Hendricks is listed as being involved in the production) for vocalese.
If you like Billie Holiday's voice, but it breaks your heart to listen to the recordings she made in her declining years, check out Madeleine Peyroux. It's heaven.
Louis Prima and Keely Smith.
The Nat Cole Trio. His early vocal stuff. Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, and Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer probably were the kind of things that left his family financially sound after he died, and bless him for that, but when he was with the trio some of what they put out was magical. Also the soundtrack to Cat Ballou (just kidding).
That's probably enough for now. Check out a few on youtube to give yourself a feel for what they're about, and let me know if they resonate with you.
10-12-2011, 01:46 AM
For one thing, get the rest of Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook series.
10-12-2011, 02:37 AM
Don't forget Sarah Vaughan. Here she is doing Lullaby of Birdland (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8cFdZyWOOs).
10-12-2011, 04:13 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. I like the early Sinatra and early Holiday when they sounded so young. Checked out Mel Torme on YouTube. Irene Kral - wow!
10-12-2011, 08:02 AM
Another approach: look for songwriter compilations. Two of my faves:
'S Marvelous (http://www.amazon.com/Marvelous-Gershwin-Songbook-Various-Artists/dp/B0000046TD/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1318424109&sr=8-8)
American Songbook (http://www.amazon.com/American-Songbook-Various-Artists/dp/tracks/B00005RVUM/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1) (3 CDs, one each for Berlin, Gershwin, and Porter)
10-12-2011, 08:48 AM
Anything by Kenny Rankin, but especially A Song for You. (http://www.amazon.com/Song-You-Kenny-Rankin/dp/B000068359) He spans categories too much to hang a genre label on, but I guess jazz is how I think of him. He will be missed, and in time praised for his music.
The weird thing about Kenny is that when we saw him in person at a little joint near where we live, he made specific request of the audience not to smoke as it affected his voice. I gather he was a non-smoker. Ironically his cause of death was lung cancer! (http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/09/local/me-kenny-rankin9)
10-12-2011, 08:59 AM
10-12-2011, 09:55 AM
I recommend the album "Black Coffee" by Peggy Lee.
10-12-2011, 09:59 AM
To get an overview by internet radio, go to http://www.martiniinthemorning.com/page.php?9 and click Listen Live, then chose the option that fits your device. They play everything from Billie Holiday and Sinatra to Michael Buble and Renee Olstead. It isn't the albums you've requested but it should give you some ideas for more voices you like.
10-12-2011, 10:12 AM
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Coltrane_and_Johnny_Hartman). Unbelievably good!
10-12-2011, 10:24 AM
Listen to Labdad. I'm sorry I missed that one.
10-12-2011, 04:20 PM
If you're into vocalese (a bebop vocal form), go with Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross.
Yes! When it's late and somebody's crashing on my futon and we're both drinking beer, I always put on "Sing A Song of Basie." Perfect album.
I like Johnny Hartman with Coltrane and his "boys," and a number of Nancy King albums (she's from Bay Area, but played in Portland when I was a teenager and the bartenders let me sneak in, sometimes under the influence of grass, and I still think she's the tops for a bebop singer, right there with Annie Ross at the very top of the "heap."
More pop than straight jazz, but Tony Bennett's album with Bill Evans is classic -- great jazz/pop singer with one of the greatest pianists ever, just one to one.
Aretha's earlier albums covering standards are gorgeous. Glad someone mentioned Sarah Vaughan, and also Peggy Lee -- that whole album "Black Coffee" merits her entire reputation, AFAIC.
10-13-2011, 11:25 AM
I replied earlier but it seems my post didn't make it...
Joe Williams, A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Aint-Supposed-Cry-Williams/dp/B000GPI2MW)
Nancy Wilson, especially her earlier stuff
10-13-2011, 12:11 PM
Jimmy Scott (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFLL26aKr5w) did a good job on the standards, although his painfully slow versions of some songs grate on my nerves at times. The linked song is when he's at his best.
10-13-2011, 12:35 PM
I second the recommendation of Madeleine Peyroux.
Robin McKelle is another current singer who does standards - her first album was the best, IMO.
Jo Stafford is another of the all-time greats. I can't remember the name of the album of hers that I have.
John Pizzarelli is best live - his Liva at Birdland album is excellent.
10-13-2011, 02:15 PM
If you like Billie Holiday's voice, but it breaks your heart to listen to the recordings she made in her declining years, check out Madeleine Peyroux.
While I've got you here; what album shows off her voice at it's best?
C. Montgomery Burns
10-14-2011, 08:06 AM
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recorded quite a few duets. My favorite is A Fine Romance.
Plenty of Peggy Lee. She recorded some great stuff with Benny Goodman. Her best solo work, in my opinion, was in the late 1940s and 1950s.
The Ink Spots are also fantastic.
10-14-2011, 09:20 AM
Here's a suggestion for finding some good singers with hour-long streaming audio shows with chat and multiple songs:
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz (http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=24&agg=1) is one of quite a few shows on NPR Music (http://www.npr.org/music/) and in spite of its title it often features non-pianist musicians and/or vocalists who also play instruments.
Here are some links to specific vocalists' shows that might appeal to you:
Sheila Jordan On Piano Jazz
Bobby Short On Piano Jazz
Esperanza Spalding On Piano Jazz
Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz
Grace Kelly On Piano Jazz
Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz
Karrin Allyson On Piano Jazz
Veronica Nunn On Piano Jazz
Roberta Gambarini On Piano Jazz
Piano Jazz Presents: The Women Of Song
Be sure to check the archives, which go back several years, for other possibilities. The hour format gives Marian a chance to explore all sorts of topics with her guests. A trivia goldmine!
10-14-2011, 09:40 AM
Curtis Stiger's "The Collection". Especially his cover of Dylan's Don't Think Twice, It's Alright which is so perfect.
Katie Melua "Call off the Search" and the eponymous song just makes me wanna cuddle up with my sweetie with its soft tones, sweet phrasings, and champagne-flute-style piano.
For something unexpected, check out Queen Latifah's album "Trav'lin' Light" which includes classics like Peggy Lee's I Love Being Here with You and Phoebe Snow's Poetry Man.
For something possibly difficult to find, local Minnesota jazz singer Prudence Johnson (backup vocalist to Greg Brown and occasional guest on NPR/MPR's A Prairie Home Companion). Her album "Moon Country" is all from the Hoagy Carmichael songbook and definitely worth a repeated listen.
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