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Vocalists — All

XSingers we love -- from vintage torch to vocalese, scat, jazz poetry, standards, and more!

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Partial matches: 29
Partial matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Monday MichiruNaked Breath 2 ... CD
Sonic Image, 2017. New Copy ... $7.99
Beautiful work from Monday Michiru – an artist we've loved for over 20 years, and who just keeps on rewarding our faith in her work with records like this! Years back, Monday was a soul singer, then she grew into a very talented jazz singer too – and here, she's in a very special space of her own – beautifully set up with just the guitar of Yoshihisa Suzuki for accompaniment, plus a bit of her own work on flute – but mostly in a mode that just features her singing alongside the guitar! Monday's always had an expressive voice, but she really knocks it out of the park here – working so many different inflections, twists, and turns into her lyrics – so much so, we don't even miss the other instrumentation at all. Few folks could make an album this vivid with so little – but then again, Monday's always been a rare breed! Titles include the originals "One Thing's For Sure", "Seize The Day", "Brasilified", "Hidden Elements", "Disillusioned", and "Lone Wolf" – plus versions of "One Note Samba", and the Prince classic "Wanna Be Your Lover". (Neo Soul, Vocalists) CD

Partial matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Astrud Gilberto5 Original Albums (Astrud Gilberto Album/Look To The Rainbow/Certain Smile Certain Sadness/Windy/I Haven't Got Anything Better) (5CD set) ... CD
Verve (Germany), Late 60s. New Copy 5 CDs ... On June 29, 2018
A quintet of wonderful records from the legendary Astrud Gilberto! First up is the Astrud Gilberto Album – pne of Astrud Gilberto's greatest albums of the 60s – a classic session produced for Verve by Creed Taylor, and featuring sweet gentle arrangements from Marty Paich, co-arranged with Antonio Carlos Jobim, who also plays guitar on the session next to the piano of Joao Donato! That's a mouthful of heavy-hitters, we know – but the result is a totally great session that has Astrud's light and gentle vocals drifting over some of the most magical bossa backings you'll ever hear. The whole thing's great, stuffed with bossa classics done in English – and titles include "Once I Loved", "Aqua De Beber", "O Morro", "Dindi", "Dreamer", and "Photograph". Look To The Rainbow is one of the moodiest Verve albums from Astrud Gilberto – a set that has some surprising arrangements by Gil Evans – working here on one of his few 60s dates with a singer! Astrud's blue-tinged vocals work perfectly with Evans' backdrops – and Al Cohn also takes over the helm on two of the album's tracks, but still does a very good job of keeping the groove. There's a nice mix of sadness and lightness in the set – and titles include a wonderful version of "Berimbau" that actually features berimbau playing by Dom Um Romao, a great take on "El Preciso Aprender A Ser So" with English lyrics, and the titles "Bim Bom", "Lugar Bonito", "Frevo", and "Once Upon A Summertime". For Certain Smile Certain Sadness, Verve Records got the great idea of teaming up its (then) biggest Brazilian imports – vocalist Astrud Gilberto and organist Walter Wanderley – both of whom were selling plenty at the time! Astrud's lovely vocals are matched beautifully with the lean, rhythmic bossa grooves of Wanderley's trio – and the result is a record that's near-perfect in execution. Most of the tracks are quite short, as is the record itself – but it's a perfectly concentrated dose of the Verve bossa sound at its best, with tracks that include "Portuguese Washerwoman", "Tu Meu Delirio", "A Certain Smile", "Call Me", "Here's That Rainy Day", "A Certain Sadness", "It's A Lovely Day Today", and a vocal version of Wanderley's big hit "Summer Samba", redone here as "So Nice"! Windy is one of the hardest to find Astrud Gilberto records on Verve – and one of the best! Deodato, Don Sebesky, and Pat Williams did the arrangements – and the sound here is a bit different than some of the straighter Gilberto sets of the time – still very bossa-inspired, but also in a style that mixes in some great Sunshine Pop and 60s easy influences too – particularly on the tracks arranged by Williams! Tracks are all quite short, but get a heck of a lot of magic into a tiny space – and the album features some really wonderful songs that break Gilberto's pattern a bit – including versions of the Marcos Valle tracks "Crickets Sing For Anamaria" and "Chup Chup, I Got Away" – plus takes on "Windy", "Sing Me A Rainbow", "Never My Love", and "Where Are They Now?" I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do is one of the darkest albums ever recorded by Astrud Gilberto – her 60s last session for Verve Records, and a batch of beautifully moody tunes throughout! Arrangements are by Albert Gorgoni, who'd handled Gilberto's previous September 69 album – but the style here is a bit mellower, a bit sadder – touched with more adult themes of love, life, and loss – and very much in keeping with Astrud's tear-stained image on the cover! There's a sound here that almost mixes Gilberto's earlier bossa with the more baroque modes of Scott Walker at the end of the 60s – and as with Scott Walker's classic solo sets, the album shows a side of Astrud's talents that we never would have expected a few years earlier! Titles include "Wailing Of The Willow", "Where's The Love", "Wee Small Hours", "If", "Without Him", "Trains & Boats & Planes", "The Sea Is My Soil", and "Didn't We?". (Brazil, Vocalists) CD

Partial matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Count Basie & Billy EckstineBasie/Eckstine Incorporated ... LP
Roulette, 1959. Sealed ... $3.99
Billy Eckstine gets a new lease on life – working here with great backings from the Count Basie band, in a mode that's a bit like some of Billy's own large ensemble recordings of the mid 40s! The sound is a bit more Basie-inflected than before, but that also unlocks some great swinging, soulful currents in Eckstine's vocals – modes that maybe weren't coming through as strongly in some of his pop material of the time, but which are right at home in the company of the Count! The material's great, too – darker, more brooding tunes – of the sort that Joe Williams might sing with the group – and the balance of presentation often gives equal time to vocals and instrumental passages in the spotlight. Titles include "Blues The Mother Of Sin", "Lonesome Lover Blues", "Drifting", "I Want A Little Girl", and "Song Of The Wanderer". (Jazz, Vocalists) LP, Vinyl record album
(Sealed Emus pressing)

Partial matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis ArmstrongPorgy & Bess (single vinyl version) ... LP
Verve, 1957. Very Good Gatefold ... $8.99
One of the hippest takes ever on the Porgy & Bess score – done in duet format by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, in a fuller spirit than their other albums for Verve! Like many late 50s albums of Gershwin's score, this one was issued in advance of the film with Sidney Poitier – but unlike most, this is less of a cash-in affair, and really takes Gershwin's music on its own – serving it up with that newly serious style that Verve was hitting with some artists, especially Ella, in the latter half of the 50s. Most tracks have relatively full backings – strings and jazz orchestrations – and the double-length set features 14 tracks that include "Buzzard Song", "I Got Plenty O Nuttin", "My Man's Gone Now", "I Wants To Stay Here", "Summertime", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "What You Want Wid Bess", "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin Soon For New York", "Oh Lawd I'm On My Way", and "A Woman Is A Sometime Thing". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has light wear.)

Partial matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nina SimoneEmergency Ward!/It Is Finished/Black Gold ... CD
RCA (Germany), 1970/1972/1974. Used 2 CDs ... $18.99
3 great Nina records collected together in one package! Emergency Ward is a great little album cut by Nina Simone during the time she was working with Weldon Irvine. The record features 4 long tracks, all cut live in concert, and with large arrangements done by Weldon, and lots of improvising on lyrics by Nina Simone. Includes a haunting version of "My Sweet Lord", the classic "Poppies", and a great poem/song called "Today Is A Killer". It Is Finished was the kind of record that once made purists turn up their noses, but which is now being rediscovered as a unique jazz/soul crossover album, filled with loads of nice moments! The instrumentation's pretty darn interesting – and includes sitar, harp, Spanish guitar, and other odd percussion instruments. Includes Nina's nice version of "Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter", plus "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl", "Dambala", "Obeah Woman", and "The Pusher". Black Gold was one of the excellent LPs she cut with the Stroud Productions imprint during the early 70s. The style here is even hipper than her late 60s work on Philips – with a mixture of open-ended jazz and soul that's best summed up in the album's extended reading of "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair", and a great version of "To Be Young Gifted & Black", which was written by Weldon Irvine, who's probably playing piano here with Nina. 18 tracks on 2 CDs! CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Nina SimoneHere Comes The Sun (180 gram pressing) ... LP
RCA/4 Men With Beards, 1971. Near Mint- ... $24.99
Classic RCA work from the great Nina Simone – and an album that definitely shows Nina hitting more of the soul spectrum than some of her folk and jazz work of the 60s! The set's got these wonderful arrangements from Harold Wheeler – a bit electric, and done in a way that takes familiar tongs and completely recasts them for Nina's own vibe – a way of shifting the sense of spirit to unlock a special Simone-like quality you never would have expected in the tunes from anyone else! Titles include a great version of "Ooh Child", plus "Just Like A Woman", "Here Comes The Sun", "New World Coming", and "My Way". And the set also features Weldon Irvine's own composition, "How Long Must I Wander?" LP, Vinyl record album
(2014 EU Music On Vinyl pressing.)

Partial matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Frank Sinatra & Count BasieIt Might As Well Be Swing ... CD
Reprise, Early 60s. Used ... $4.99
One of Sinatra's greatest records ever – pure genius all the way through! Frank's backed here by the orchestra of Count Basie, with some incredible arrangements by Quincy Jones that really have a jazzy, syncopated kick to them. The move seems to be an unintentional way of covering for Frank's slightly failing pipes – but it also picks up on a seminal beat change in 60s pop, the same sort of gentle snapping groove that you'd find in the best work by Bacharach, a shift that really infuses Frank's vocals with a whole new sound, one that shows that he's ready to keep on growing and growing after being stuck in a Nelson Riddle rut. All tracks are superb – hip 60s pop and showtunes, like "I Believe In You", "Fly Me To the Moon", "More", "The Good Life", "Wives & Lovers", and "I Wanna Be Around". CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Keely SmithSings The John Lennon/Paul McCartney Songbook ... CD
Reprise/Real Gone, 1964. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
A groovy singer takes on the music of The Beatles – all with a sound that does a heck of a lot for both parties involved in the proceedings! Keely Smith was well into her solo career by the time of this set – having stepped away from Louis Prima, and soaring through some great albums on her own in the early 60s – of which this gem might be the capper! 1964 is a pretty early point to recognize the great potential of the songwriting team of Paul McCartney and John Lennon – but chalk that up to producer Jimmy Bowen, who does a superb job of bringing in some of the groovier styles that Reprise Records was getting hip to at the time – served up here courtesy of arrangers Ernie Freeman and Benny Carter. Both Freeman and Carter have a slight current of soul at times, which makes for a great match with Keely's vocals – on titles that include "Please Please Me", "This Girl", "If I Fell", "She Loves You", "World Without Love", "Hard Day's Night", "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and "Can't Buy Me Love" – all sounding surprisingly great as jazz tunes! CD

Partial matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tony BennettComplete Improv Recordings (4CD set) ... CD
Improv/Concord, Mid 70s. Used 4 CDs ... $11.99
The complete recordings of a really lost time in the career of Tony Bennett – mid 70s sides cut for the tiny Improv label – an indie home to Bennett at a time of waning fame, and a place where he recorded some surprisingly exceptional work! The approach here often echoes that of the Columbia years of the 60s – possibly a bit outdated at the time, but even more timeless from our perspective of many years later – as Tony holds on to a really classic style of singing – matured even more than his earlier sides, yet still waiting for many more years to be rediscovered by a younger generation. The package features material originally issued on the albums Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs, Tony Bennett Sings More Great Rodgers & Hart, Live Is Beautiful, Tony Bennett & Bill Evans Together Again, and Tony Bennett/The McPartlands & Friends Make Beautiful Music – sessions originally recorded with help from Torrie Zito, Ruby Braff, Marian McPartland, Bill Evans, and others. 76 tracks in all – including alternates and unreleased numbers – with a detailed booklet of notes! CD
(Out of print, penmark through barcode.)

Partial matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dee Dee Bridgewater with Irwin MayfieldDee Dee's Feathers ... CD
Okeh, 2015. Used ... $5.99
A really beautiful project from the great Dee Dee Bridgewater – a set that has the singer paying tribute to the city and culture of New Orleans, but in a way that's free of the hoke you'd find in other projects of this nature! Dee Dee approaches the music – as with all of her albums – from a rock-solid, jazz vocal approach – focusing first on her tremendous skills as a singer – her fantastic ability to interpret material and really make it her own – then finding space for other flourishes that color the compositions, with great help from Irvin Mayfield, who's at the instrumental helm of the project. And the tunes aren't just some post-Katrina soppy numbers trying to recreate the past – but a wonderful array of different selections that both echo the still-thriving, still-essential jazz culture in the city, and the range of 20th century expressions of its music. Way better than you might guess – and one of Bridgewater's best in years! Titles include "Treme Song/Do Whatcha Wanna", "Dee Dee's Feathers", "Big Chief", "One Fine Thing", "Whoopin Blues", "Congo Square", and "C'Est Ici Que Je T'Aime". CD

Partial matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Charles BrownLegend ... LP
Bluesway, 1969. Very Good ... $9.99
Vocalist Charles Brown is backed by a group that includes young and old musicians, for a variety of styles, and which includes Mel Brown, Red Holloway, Jimmy Bond, and Ed Thigpen. Dorothy Ivory sings on a few cuts, but most of the vocals are by Charles, with his smooth raspy mellow tone, and a very soulful sound. Titles include "The Combination", "Black Night", "Drifting Blues", and "I Want To Go Home". Nice long renditions, and some very nice production. (Soul, Vocalists) LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some wear with aged tape along all seams.)

Partial matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ray CharlesBirth Of Soul – The Complete Atlantic Rhythm & Blues Recordings 1952 to 1959 (3 CD box set) ... CD
Atlantic/Rhino, 1950s. Used 3 CDs ... $18.99
You know, over the years, you get exposed to so many cliches about Ray Charles that it's easy to forget how great he is – but you won't after hearing this set! This totally essential box pushes way past any other collection to pull together the raw early R&B sides by Ray – much harder stuff than any of his later country soul work, and way more rockin than even his instrumental sides that show up more as "jazz" efforts. No, this stuff kicks ass – and is right up there with the best 50s R&B work by artists like Tiny Bradshaw, Wynonie Harris, or Ray Brown. Plus, a huge amount of the cuts on here never really appeared on full LPs, so it's not like you'll be able to track them down that easily on other reissues. There's a wealth of excellent material here that will open up a whole new side of Ray for you – and which will fill in loads of holes if you've already got some of his work. There's a total of 53 tracks in all, plus a great set of notes and a very handsome box – and titles include "What Kind Of Man Are You", "Get On The Right Track", "Leave My Woman Alone", "Roll With My Baby", "Jumpin In The Morning", "It Should Have Been Me", "Feelin Sad", "Mess Around", "I Wonder Who", "Blackjack", "Greenbacks", "A Fool For You", "Hard Times", "A Bit Of Soul", "I Want To Know", "It's Alright", "Ain't That Love", and "That's Enough". All cuts are vocal – and this is some of the most satisfying Ray Charles you could ever buy! (Soul, Vocalists) CD
(Out of print. Includes original box and book.)

Partial matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ray CharlesSweet & Sour Tears ... CD
ABC/Rhino, 1964. Used ... $12.99
Easily one of the best Ray Charles albums on ABC – if not one of the best Ray Charles albums of all-time. Ray's in his C&W mode here, but it's a bit more restrained than on other LPs, and is replaced here by a sophisticated style that works perfectly with his heartbreaking voice. Proof that Ray knew what he was doing when he said that he didn't want to cut any more crazy R&B records! Titles include "Teardrops From My Eyes", "Cry", "A Tear Fell", "You've Got Me Crying Again", and "I Cried For You". The CD includes 7 bonus tracks! (Soul, Vocalists) CD
(Out of print. Barcode has a small cutout hole.)

Partial matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Mel DancyLittle Lovin ... CD
Mainstream/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1972. New Copy ... $9.99
We've only ever seen this one record by singer Mel Dancy, and it's a groovy little set that makes us wonder why he never moved on to greater fame! The record's got this mix of soul and jazz at the core – with occasional hints at the territory that would be opened up later in the 70s by singers like George Benson or Al Jarreau – that more expressive, yet always swinging style that vocalists of their generation worked in a space past older jazz modes. Wade Marcus handles the arrangements here – working in warm jazz instrumentation with some larger orchestrations – in a lineup that includes Cornell Dupree on guitar and the great Paul Griffin on piano and keyboards. Titles include "Day Star", "This Time We'll Know Him", "Beginning To Feel The Pain", "Wasn't It You", "See Saw", "Just A Little Lovin", and "Let Me Do What I Want To Do". (Soul, Vocalists) CD

Partial matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Barbara DaneHot Jazz, Cool Blues, & Hard Hitting Songs ... CD
Folkways, Late 50s/1960s/1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s. New Copy 2CD ... $20.99 22.98
She's got short blonde hair, in the manner of Doris Day in the 60s – but Barbara Dane is a much hipper singer – and one who can really live up to the promise made by the title of this collection! Dane emerged in the folk revival boom of the late 50s, but right from the start she was something completely different – almost as much of a blues singer as a folk artist – able to sing those modes in a completely unabashed, unself-conscious way – without any hoke at all, at a level that most other white female singers wouldn't take up until a decade later. This 2CD collection spans the full gamut of Dane's work, and is very heavy on her late 50s and 60s recordings for Folkway Records – with some surprisingly strong inclusions from later years too – a really great celebration of her unique genius. 38 tracks in all – including "Mama Yacey's Advice", "Come By Here", "It Isn't Nice", "I Am A Weary & Lonesome Traveler", "Mill Worker", "Song Of The Coat Maker", "Join The GI Movement", "Ballad Of Richard Campos", "I Don't Want Your Millions Mister", "Mother Earth", and "Study War No More". (Folk/Country, Vocalists) CD

Partial matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Georgie Fame & The Blue FlamesRhythm & Blues At The Flamingo (Japanese paper sleeve edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
Polydor (Japan), 1964. Used ... $11.99
Blistering early work from a young Georgie Fame – a set that definitely lives up to the Rhythm & Blues in the title! The set was recorded live at London's hip Flamingo club – and Georgie and The Blue Flames are very much in command of the crowd – burning with the intensity of a American small organ combo, especially the early 60s variety that often played equal parts soul jazz and R&B! Georgie's on the Hammond, and also sings with a rough-edged style that's plenty soulful, and incredibly appealing – a mode that oozes charisma, but never sounds fake or forced. Other instrumentation includes tenor, baritone sax, bass, drums, and conga – plus some great guitar from Big Jim Sullivan – and titles include "Do The Dog", "Eso Beso", "Work Song", "Baby Please Don't Go", "Shop Around", "Humpty Dumpty", and "You Can't Sit Down". This 2016 edition comes loaded with a huge number of bonus tracks, too – with 1964 BBC Session recordings of "Night Train", "Walking The Dog", "Do-Re-Mi", "You're Breaking My Heart" wtih Long John Baldry and more, plus "Parker's Mood", "Molasses", "Funky Mama (Blue Moon Bootleg Version)", "Money (That's What I Want)" and lots more. 10 tracks on the original album – plus 13 bonus tracks! CD
(Includes obi.)

Partial matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis ArmstrongPorgy & Bess ... CD
Verve/Jazz Heritage, 1957. Used ... $2.99
One of the hippest takes ever on the Porgy & Bess score – done in duet format by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, in a fuller spirit than their other albums for Verve! Like many late 50s albums of Gershwin's score, this one was issued in advance of the film with Sidney Poitier – but unlike most, this is less of a cash-in affair, and really takes Gershwin's music on its own – serving it up with that newly serious style that Verve was hitting with some artists, especially Ella, in the latter half of the 50s. Most tracks have relatively full backings – strings and jazz orchestrations – and the double-length set features 15 tracks that include "Buzzard Song", "I Got Plenty O Nuttin", "My Man's Gone Now", "I Wants To Stay Here", "Summertime", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "What You Want Wid Bess", "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin Soon For New York", "Oh Lawd I'm On My Way", and "A Woman Is A Sometime Thing". CD

Partial matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Al HibblerAfter The Lights Go Down Low ... LP
Atlantic, 1950/1951/1956. Used ... Just Sold Out!
One of the greatest albums ever from the mighty Al Hibbler – a record that's filled with subtle power and deeper soul – and which really has Al working at the height of his vocal talents! Although Hibbler recorded often before this in the 50s, this session seems to have a specially magic feel – the kind of album in which all elements gel together perfectly – almost to Al's career what Two Steps From The Blues was to Bobby Bland. And like that other classic, there's a mix here of jazz and blues that's really unique – instantly timeless, and still quite powerful today. Titles include "Tell Me", "Travelin Light", "Dedicated To You", "You Will Be Mine", "Song Of The Wanderer", "If I Knew You Were There", and "The Blues Came Falling Down". LP, Vinyl record album
(Black label Long Playing Unbreakable logo label pressing with deep groove.)

Partial matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
King PleasureMr Jazz ... LP
United Artists, Early 60s. Very Good ... $8.99
Despite the fact that he's one of the most influential jazz singers of all time (and certainly one with the biggest hit, as the original recording of "I'm In the Mood For Love" probably sold more copies than most other vocalese recordings combined), King Pleasure only ever cut three full albums – and this third one is the hardest to find! The album was recorded for United Artists during the time when Alan Douglas was cutting sides for the label, and it's very much in the same mode as his earlier recordings for Prestige and HiFi, apart from some occasional spare string backing that's added to the small group jazz playing. Pleasure's vocals are wonderful – incomparable, and right at the peak of vocalese sublimity – and the album's filled with great numbers like "That Old Black Magic (Diaper Pin)", "This Is Always", "Jazz Jump", "Don't Get Scared", "Swan Blues", and "Mean To Me", all completely transformed by Pleasure! LP, Vinyl record album
(Black label pressing.)

Partial matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Karin KrogWe Could Be Flying ... CD
Meantime (Norway), 1974. New Copy ... $16.99
Magnificent work from European jazz vocalist Karin Krog – a landmark album that shows why she sings like no other singer! On this 1974 session, Karin moves far beyond the standard jazz of her roots – into territory that's spacey, cosmic, and filled with the best influences bubbling underground in the Euro scene of the 70s. The backing group features Steve Kuhn on keyboards, Steve Swallow on bass, and Jon Christensen on drums – all working out these beautiful modal patterns that unlock Karin's cool and icy vocals. The tunes are all pretty incredible too – vocal versions of originals by Kuhn, like "Meaning Of Love", "Sometime To Go", and "Raindrops Raindrops"; a very cool version of Joni Mitchell's "All I Want", a rare Jon Hendricks' lyrical version of JJ Johnson's "Lament", and a sweet and breezy take on the Michel Colombier tune "We Could Be Flying"! CD

Partial matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Claudine LongetClaudine ... LP
A&M, Late 60s. Very Good ... $4.99
French pop meets LA production – and the result is some of the best work ever recorded by A&M Records – a gently groovy, slightly sexy sound that really helped define the label in its early years! Claudine Longet's got a gentle Parisian style of singing that's perfect, simply perfect, on this first LP – set to lightly groovy arrangements by the great Nick DeCaro, gliding through a host of tunes that encompasses some of the grooviest hits of the decade – from soundtrack numbers to bossa tunes to familiar numbers that sparkle anew with Claudine's brilliance! Titles include "A Man and A Woman", "Wanderlove", "Meditation", "My Guy", "Sunrise Sunset", "A Felicidade", and "Hello Hello". LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Johnny MathisI'll Buy You A Star/Live It Up ... CD
Columbia/Collectors Choice, 1961. Used 2 CDs ... $9.99
Two wonderful early 60s albums from Johnny Mathis – both quite fresh, compared to his better-known hits! I'll Buy You A Star features wonderful backings from Nelson Riddle – every bit as jazzy and swinging as his 50s charts for Frank Sinatra, with some playful touches at points too – all of which really helps Johnny break from some of the more familiar modes of his bigger singles. That Mathis voice is in wonderful form throughout, and Riddle knows how to balance it with just the right amount of drama without getting too overindulgent – a wonderful blend heard on titles that include "I'll Buy You A Star", "Sudden Love", "My Heart & I", "Jenny", "Wasn't The Summer Short", "Wherever You Are It's Spring", and "The Best Is Yet To Come". Live It Up is a tremendous album from Johnny Mathis – one that really lives up to its title, thanks to great arrangements from Nelson Riddle! Riddle adds in a great dose of jazz to the music – pushing that livelier style of Mathis' vocals on some of the album's best cuts, in the way you'd hear on some of his sublime late 50s work – a great reminder that he can be a jazz singer when he wants. Other tracks are mellow, but never stodgy or commercial – and titles include "Hey Look Me Over", "Ace In The Hole", "Live It Up", "On A Cold & Rainy Day", "Why Not", and "Too Much Too Soon". CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sue RaneySongs For A Raney Day ... CD
Capitol (Japan), 1960. New Copy ... About July 6, 2018
A fantastic album by this obscure vocalist – one of the first in a great run of work recorded by Sue Raney on the west coast scene! This session has Sue sounding a fair bit like Chris Connor or June Christy – often a bit icy, and sometimes sweet – but without some of the fuller modes on her later records. The album's got surprisingly understated arrangements by Billy May that have a nice jazzy edge – and Raney's vocals have all the wistful qualities you might guess from the title and cover! Titles include "A Blossom Fell", "Impossible", "I Get The Blues When It Rains", "My Prayer", "Wanna Laugh?", "Rain On The Roof", and "Blue Tears". CD

Partial matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lou RawlsNow Is The Time/Close Company ... CD
Epic/Expansion (UK), 1982/1984. New Copy ... About July 1, 2018
A pair of post Philly International gems from Lou Rawls on Epic – Now Is The Time from '82 and Close Company from '84 – in a single set! Now Is The Time is a solid soul effort from Lou, still working wonders here in the early 80s on a record that stands the test of time surprisingly well! The production doesn't overdo it with period production flourishes, with some sweeping arrangements on some numbers and more of an easygoing vibe on others. Titles include "Kiss Me One More Time", "Let Me Show You How", "Ain't That Love Baby", "This Love" and "Back To You". Close Company features a fair bit of production from Dexter Wansel, in a way that continues the groove from a few years before! The sound's got a smooth, sophisticated feel that works great with Lou's maturing vocals – and the overall feel is right up there with the best classy soul coming out on Epic at the time – work that's really stood the test of the time because it never gave in too much to commercial trends. Titles include "Close Company", "All Time Lover", "In The Middle Of The Night", "Pretty Eyes", "Forever I Do", "Ready Or Not", and "Say It Again". 17 tracks in all on the CD. (Soul, Vocalists) CD

Partial matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Marlena ShawFrom The Depths Of My Soul ... LP
Blue Note, 1973. Very Good+ ... $24.99
An excellent set of sophisticated soul cuts from Marlena Shaw – and a album that more than lives up to the title! Marlena really sparkles here – thanks to impeccable arrangements by Wade Marcus that perfectly mix together jazz and soul – finding that unique space that Shaw and a handful of other singers were exploring at the time. As with some of her other Blue Note albums, the record's got a great sense of cohesion – beginning with a nice dramatic prelude, which then gives way to sublime vocals from Merlena. Along with the soulful strings, the instrumentation includes lots of clavinet and electric piano – another nice approach, one that ushers a little bit of funk into the mix – and titles include "Easy Evil", "Hum This Song", "But For Now", "The Feeling's Good", "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely", Wildflower", "Waterfall", and "Say A Good Word". (Soul, Vocalists) LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner.)

Partial matches26
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kay StarrMovin' ... CD
Capitol/Jasmine, Late 50s. Used ... $6.99
One of Kay's classics for Capitol – an upbeat, all-grooving set of tracks that showcases Starr's unique blend of swing and country phrasing! Van Alexander handled all the arrangements – and the tracks have lots of snapping percussion at the bottom, nice bluesy phrasings, and a fair bit of breakout (uncredited) horn solos throughout the set. Titles include "On A Slow Boat To China", "Movin", "Lazy River", "Swingin Down The Lane", "Song Of The Wanderer", and "Around The World". CD

Partial matches27
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Dakota Staton with Manny AlbamI Want A Country Man ... LP
Groove Merchant, 1973. Very Good+ ... $2.99
Very hip work from Dakota Staton – one of her great early 70s albums for the Groove Merchant label! Backings here are by the band of Manny Albam – in a mode that's jazzy, but inflected with plenty of soul – and which has the same sort of rhythmic pulse that you'd find in Lou Rawls' best later work for Capitol. The style's a great one for Dakota – one that brings a bit more focus and energy to her music, and which almost sets her up more as a soul singer than a jazz one. Titles include "Girl Talk", "Country Man", "Heartbreak", "Make It Easy On Yourself", "How Did He Look", and a really great version of "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know". LP, Vinyl record album

Partial matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Harry Belafonte & Miriam MakebaEvening With Harry Belafonte & Miriam Makeba ... LP
RCA, 1965. Very Good+ ... $2.99
Hipper than you might expect – thanks to arrangements by South African jazzman Jonas Gwangwa! LP, Vinyl record album
(Mono Dynagroove pressing. Cover has light wear.)

Partial matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lena Horne & Gabor SzaboLena & Gabor ... LP
Skye, 1970. Very Good ... $1.99
Think what you want about Lena Horne – but this is a plenty darn groovy album! Sure, Lena's style is usually a bit classy and uptown – almost so much so that we don't really dig most of her records. But here, she's working in a very groovy style – paired with the great guitarist Gabor Szabo, in a set of sweetly swinging tunes that share many touches with Gabor's grooviest sides for Impulse and Skey in the 60s! Gabor produced and arranged with Gary McFarland – and the pair really transform the sound of Lena's voice, taking her normally-poised vocals and loosening them up with a subtly funky undercurrent. Richard Tee plays some great organ on the set, in a small combo that also includes Grady Tate and Chuck Rainey – and titles include a lot of Beatles covers – like "Rocky Raccoon", "Fool On The Hill", and "In My Life" – plus the cuts "Nightwind", "Watch What Happens", and "My Mood Is You". LP, Vinyl record album
(Non-gatefold Skye pressing.)
 
 
 



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