Vocalists — CDs

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




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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lorez AlexandriaThis Is Lorez/Lorez Sings Pres ... CD
King/BGP (UK), 1957. Used ... $7.99
Incredible early work from Lorez Alexandria – the kind of albums that instantly set her apart from other singers of the 50s, reissued here properly for the first time in years! On This Is Lorez, the singer is working with sublime small combo backings from the group of pianist King Fleming – an unusual Chicago ensemble that includes Wilber Wynn on guitar, Ronald Wilson on flute and oboe, Vernel Fournier on drums, and Audrey Jones on bongos – a musical lineup that brings in a different sort of sophistication to the record, shading tunes with moody colors on flute and oboe that perfectly support Alexandria's soulful and sensitive interpretations of the tunes. The whole thing is pure genius, and a key look at the new levels of sophistication that were bubbling everywhere on the Chicago scene during the years of Jamal and Sun Ra. Lorez Sings Pres follows in a very similar mode – with backing by a Chicago group that again includes King Fleming piano, plus Charles Stepney on vibes, Paul Serrano on trumpet, and Vernel Fournier on drums – an extremely hip lineup that makes the record far more than just the Lester Young tribute promised in the title! But despite the instrumentalists, the real star on all sides is Alexandria – who sings with dark tones and deep colors that go far beyond conventional jazz vocals – all carried off with that slightly breathy mode that was one more unique aspect of her work! CD features all tracks from both albums – a total of 22 titles that include "Snowstorm", "I'm Glad There Is You", "The Sky Is Crying", "I'm Making Believe", "Necessity", "Penthouse Serenade", "DB Blues", "This Year's Kisses", "Easy Living", "No Eyes Blues", "Jumping With Symphony Sid", and a key early reading of "Baltimore Oriole". CD
 
Partial matches: 13
Partial matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
June ChristySomething Cool (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol, 1953. Used ... $1.99
From its booze-soaked title cut, to its haunting selection of lonely ballads like "Midnight Sun" and "Stranger Called The Blues", this is one of the most fantastic vocal jazz albums of all time – and a record that we'd recommend instantly to anyone! June Christy has an incredibly icy tone on the record, filled with sorrow, regret, and loneliness – all of which are amplified even more deeply by Pete Rugolo's eerie, off-kilter arrangements. And, on this CD reissue, you'll also hear the pair in a whopping amount of extra material, pulled from singles and albums issued around the same time, for a total of 24 cuts in all. Titles include "Magazines", "Whee Baby", "I'm Thrilled", "Out Of Somewhere", and "The Night We Called It A Day". Fantastic stuff! CD

Partial matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Brigitte Fontaine & Art Ensemble of ChicagoComme A La Radio ... CD
Saravah (France), 1970. Used ... $11.99
One of the coolest albums ever recorded – a legendary meeting between the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and inventive French singer Brigitte Fontaine! The set was recorded at the end of the 60s in Paris, and it perfectly sums up all of the incredible energy bubbling out of the post-68 years – an openness to new music, new ideas, and new forms of expression – presented here in an open, honest way that only the Saravah label could muster! Fontaine's vocals are wonderful – soft-sung and spoken, with a style that's like that of a more artful and poetic Jane Birkin – and the backings from the Art Ensemble are some of their most sensitive ever – very balanced and conscious of sound, in ways that make us wish they'd recorded a lot more like this. There's never a dull moment on the record, and the set is honestly one of the reasons we first got into this business in the first place – the kind of life-changing record that's a real honor for us to stock. Frequent Fontaine partner Areski joins in on a few tracks, and titles include "Comme A La Radio", "L'Ete L'Ete", "Le Brouillard", "Tanka II", "Leo", and "Les Petits Chevaux". (French, Vocalists) CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Eydie GormeDon't Go To Strangers/Softly As I Leave You ... CD
GL, 1966/1967. Used ... $14.99
A great double-header – especially since both albums are top-shelf! Don't Go To Strangers is a 60s classic from Eydie Gorme – and a set that showed the world that she had a lot more to offer than just some peppy duets with Steve Lawrence! Sure, Eydie had sung on her own before – and often did a pretty darn great job – but this album really takes off with a new sort of maturity – one that comes through in the title, and in Gorme's all-adult readings of the tunes – with a poise, care, and class that we're not sure we'd heard on records from her before. Don Costa handles the arrangements superbly – and titles include "What Did I Have That I Don't Have", "If He Walked Into My Life", "Don't Go To Strangers", "How Did He Look", "When He Leaves You", and "Tell Him I Said Hello". Softly As I Leave You is great second-period work from Eydie Gorme – one of the wonderfully mature 60s albums when she was really developing herself as a singer! The album's got a careful sort of poise – emotive, but never overdone – and arranged to perfection by Don Costa, in ways that are even more sensitive to Eydie's strengths than his previous work with the singer. Titles include "Every Time We Say Goodbye", "What's Good About Goodbye", "Guess I Should Have Loved Him More", "Softly As I Leave You", and "All Alone". CD

Partial matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Dizzy Gillespie & The Double Six Of ParisDizzy Gillespie & The Double Six Of Paris ... CD
Philips, 1963. Used ... $7.99
A rare 60s meeting of groovy talents from both sides of the Atlantic – and a record that matches the trumpet of Dizzy Gillespie with the hiply swinging vocals of The Double Six Of Paris! The group were a wonderfully groovy precursor to the Swingle Singers – and sung in a scatting approach to jazz vocals that was very much in the tradition of Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross – but also drew inspiration from the earlier work of Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and others. Their sound is great – much more 60s groovy than some other vocal groups – and pairing them with Dizzy gives this record an added punch that some of their other sessions are missing! Backing is small combo throughout – with either Bud Powell or Kenny Barron on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, and James Moody on tenor – and with the presence of Diz, most of the material here is of bop orientation – taken at a fast and lively clip! Lalo Schifrin arranged the whole session too – and titles include "One Bass Hit", "Blue N Boogie", "Emanon", "Groovin High", "Ow", "The Champ", "Tin Tin Deo", "Hot House", and "Con Alma". (Jazz, Vocalists) CD
(Out of print pressing.)

Partial matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Johnny HartmanI Just Dropped By To Say Hello (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Impulse (Japan), 1963. Used Gatefold ... $24.99
A beautiful album of dark-hued vocals – sung by Johnny Hartman with a quality that's as smokey as the image of him with a cigarette on the cover! The album set a whole new standard for male vocal jazz in the 60s – and is a distillation and refinement of earlier ideas in music by Billy Eckstine, taken down to more personal and fluid levels by Hartman – and recorded here with great small group baking that includes Illinois Jacquet on tenor, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. The vibe is very mellow, but never sloppy or sleepy – and titles include "Charade", "In The Wee Small Hours", "Stairway To the Stars", "Kiss & Run", "Our Time", "Don't You Know I Care", "If I'm Lucky", and "Don't Call It Love". CD
(Out of print. Includes obi. Back cover has a small sample sticker.)

Partial matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Lee HazlewoodCowboy In Sweden ... CD
Smells Like Records, 1970. Used ... $7.99
There was never anyone like Lee Hazlewood – and this album is a true testament to his genius! He's the kind of guy you think you've got figured out when you first look at him – but the more you listen to his music, the more you want to raise him above all of the other hip singer/songwriters he seems to be like (Gram Parsons, Leonard Cohen, etc). At heart, Lee was a Cowboy – much more so than any of those fake LA "desperadoes" of the Sunset rock years – and this album, recorded as part of the enigmatic film A Cowboy In Sweden, is true testament to Lee's incredible ability to be both totally serious about his image, yet still maintain a sense of wit and distance that makes him incredibly hard to pin down, genre-wise. He's the country singer Scott Walker always wanted to be, and he's got a pop genius that Leonard Cohen painfully tried to reach in his later years. This album is brilliant, and its rerelease is one of the happiest events in to grace our shallow lives in years! Filled with beautiful titles like "Forget Marie", "Pray Them Bars Away", "Easy & Me", "No Train To Stockholm", and "The Night Before" – and one that you won't forget for a long time! CD
Also available
Cowboy In Sweden ... CD 11.99
Cowboy In Sweden ... LP 19.99

Partial matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Julie LondonJulie Is Her Name/Julie Is Her Name Vol 2 ... CD
Liberty/EMI, Late 50s. Used ... $6.99
A landmark album in 50s vocal jazz – spare, moody, and evocative tunes from Julie London – sung in a stripped-down setting that few other singers would dare at the time! The sound of the set is as sexy as the cover – intimate, personal, and breathily sung in a mode that comes across with a brashly adult presentation of the material. Backing only features Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass – leaving Julie plenty of room to take over the record with her vocals – a real masterpiece of understatement, given the setting! Titles include her famous version of "Cry Me A River" – virtually THE version of the tune – plus "I Should Care", "Say It Isn't So", "Gone With The Wind", "Laura", and "Can't Help Loving That Man". Volume 2 is a lesser-known follow-up to Julie London's classic Julie Is Her Name album. The approach here is similar to the first set – with Howard Roberts backing up Julie's vocals, in a style that's quite similar to that used by Barney Kessel the first time around. Red Mitchell's bass is really the only other instrumentation – and the spareness of the set is stunning – with a nakedness that gets past even Julie's heavy turtleneck on the cover! Titles include "If I'm Lucky", "Little White Lies", "Hot Toddy", "Blue Moon", "Goody Goody", and "Spring Is Here". CD

Partial matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Claudine LongetLove Is Blue ... CD
A&M (Japan), 1968. Used ... $16.99
Always-great work from lovely French singer Claudine Longet – a vocalist with a style that's unlike anyone else we can think of! This one's another sublime blend of French 60s pop and sunny A&M production – arranged to perfection by the great Nick DeCaro, with touches that deepen the album from earlier work – like chorus vocals, more ambitious instrumentation, and even some guest duet vocals from Tommy Lipuma! Claudine is incredible throughout – a masterpiece of gentle understatement – and she sparkles on tunes that include "Happy Talk", "Who Needs You", "Walk In The Park", "Snow", "When I Look In Your Eyes", "Dindi", and "Love is Blue". CD

Partial matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
G'raceBeach Club – A Collection Of Salsa, Bosa Nova, Merengue & Sunshine ... CD
Bunny (Holland), Used ... $0.99
... CD
(Out of print, includes obi.)

Partial matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Noel CowardNoel Coward At Las Vegas ... CD
DRG/Columbia, 1955. Used ... $6.99
One of our favorite vocal albums of the 50s – an incredibly witty live set from Noel Coward, recorded in Las Vegas, with a very different style than some of his other records! The Noel Coward you'll hear here is still steeped in the mannered wit of his earlier plays, but he's also let himself go considerably – working in front of a live audience with an eager ear for well crafted lyrics and innuendo. The songs are mostly numbers from Coward's earlier shows, but they're sung in a hip swinging loungey style that really gives them legs – moving them past their staid roots into strong 50s vocal territory. Includes 2 great remakes of Cole Porter numbers – "Let's Do It" and "Begin The Beguine", both with Coward's own lyrics – plus "Uncle Harry", "A Bar On The Piccola Marina", "World Weary", and "Mad Dogs & Englishmen". CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Etta JonesMy Mother's Eyes ... CD
32 Jazz, 1977. Used ... $4.99
Nothing fancy, but a nice back to basics session from Etta – recorded with backing by a small combo that includes husband Houston Person, and done in the laidback style that always seems to bring out the best in her singing. Other players include Idris Muhammad, Jimmy Ponder, and Sonny Phillips – and tracks include "The Way You Look Tonight", "Be My Love", "Don't Misunderstand", and "Gloomy Sunday". CD

Partial matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Julie LondonFor The Night People (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Liberty (Japan), 1966. Used ... $19.99
Mature, mellow, and totally wonderful – clear proof that Julie London was still making great music well into the 60s! The album's got a simple, unassuming charm – very much in the late nite mode you'd guess from the title, with spare backings from Don Bagley that often have a key guitar line in the mix – working along with London's vocals in the same style as the mid 50s – but with a different feel overall – a bit more mature and world-wise, which makes for a perfect fit for tunes that include "I Got It Bad", "Here's That Rainy Day", "Am I Blue", "I'll Never Smile Again", "Can't Get Out Of This Mood", and "When The Sun Comes Out". CD
(Out of print.)

Partial matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Claudine LongetClaudine ... CD
A&M (Japan), Late 60s. Used ... $16.99
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". CD
(Out of print.)
 
 
 



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