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Vocalists — Recently Added

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


LA Breakdown
RCA, Late 60s. Very Good+
Jack Jones is not a regular on these pages, but this is kind of an odd LP by him, as he's moving into the vein of sort of hip songwriter stuff. Apart from the nice honest version of "LA Breakdown", this one also includes a few Randy Newman cuts like "Love Story" and "I ... LP, Vinyl record album
Fontana, Late 60s. Sealed
One of Oscar Brown's great ones, recorded live at the Cellar Door in Washington before an enthusiastic crowd of hipsters! The record's a beautiful mix of soul, jazz, and folk – in the same Chicago tradition that spawned Terry Callier (although Brown's style has a bit more of a "show" ... LP, Vinyl record album
Brother Where Are You
Atlantic, 1973. Very Good+
Sweet 70s funk from the great Oscar Brown – quite a change from his jazz-based work of the 60s, but a great new sitting for all of his wonderful wit and warmth! Brown's still a hell of a songwriter, and one with a very socially-conscious eye – sharper here than before, with lots of ... LP, Vinyl record album
Lovely Way To Live
Decca, Late 60s. Near Mint-
Pop vocal album from the late 60's that features a nice bossa cover of "My Heart Loves The Samba" from A Man and a Woman, plus a few originals by arranger Dave Blume like "Foolin Around" and "Be Your Baby". Plus "Lover Man", "Don't Explain", "S ... LP, Vinyl record album
Gone For the Day
Capitol, 1957. Very Good+
That's "gone" – as in the way June Christy really sends us – vocals that take us to a place that few other 50s singers could ever hope to reach! June's work here is a masterpiece of melancholic understatement – far less overblown than some of her pop contemporaries, but ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sin & Soul
Columbia, 1960. Near Mint-
Trend-setting vocal work from Oscar Brown Jr – one of the hippest singers of his generation, and a vocalist who really took things to the next level in the 60s! Brown's got a sound that's partially influenced by the vocalese of Eddie Jefferson, Jon Hendricks, and other singers of the 50s ... LP, Vinyl record album
Between Heaven & Hell
Columbia, 1962. Very Good+
Great early work from Oscar Brown Jr – a hip mix of jazz and soul, working in Brown's unique sense of showmanship, and his almost beat-like flair with a lyric! Ralph Burns and Quincy Jones handled the arrangements – and the album's filled with great original tracks by Brown, including ... LP, Vinyl record album
Commitment
Direction, 1969. Very Good+ Gatefold
One of Bobby Darin's post-Tim Hardin, post-Atlantic LPs, recorded for the Direction label, and featuring Bobby in a very moody contemplative period of his life (at time when, according to some, he was aware of his impending early death, and got very philosophical). He's clearly trying to do a Tim ... LP, Vinyl record album
Welcome To My Love
PAJ, Early 80s. Very Good+
Early work from Dianne – handled with a lot more laidback production than on later albums, a sweetly soulful approach with some nice California touches! Billy Childs gives Dianne some great backing on piano and keyboards – and other players include Harvey Mason, Billy Carroll, and ... LP, Vinyl record album
Mark Murphy Sings
Muse, 1975. Near Mint-
Arguably the best Mark Murphy album ever – a stunningly soulful, and slightly spiritual 70s session that features some of his hippest tunes ever – and backings from a Dave Matthews-arranged group that also includes The Brecker Brothers and Don Grolnick on keyboards! Titles include ... LP, Vinyl record album
Lovesick
Verve, Mid 60s. Very Good Gatefold
Wonderfully groovy work from the team of Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – a set that has the pair moving into much hipper modes for the 60s, and really taking off from the greatness of earlier records! Backing is still by Roy's core trio, with acoustic piano at the lead – but the addition ... LP, Vinyl record album
Early in the Morning
Argo, 1960. Near Mint-
An excellent early album by one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time! The session's a very hip affair – recorded with the Ramsey Lewis Trio backing her up on one side, and a group led by Frank Foster on another – both playing in a tight soul jazz mode that works perfectly for ... LP, Vinyl record album
United Artists, Late 60s. Near Mint-
Funky Shirley Bassey! This is a great set of Shirley's groove-happy work cut in the late 60s – hip tunes arranged by UK easy maestro Johnny Harris, best known for his fantastic work on the Stepping Stones record under his own name, forever a beathead classic! Features the great, funky big ... LP, Vinyl record album
Skye, 1968. Very Good-
A landmark record – not only in the career of Grady Tate, but in the realm of adult vocals as well! Grady's incredible here – cool, classy, and amazingly stepping from the role of being a simple jazz drummer, into a world of sophisticated vocals that really caught the world by surprise. ... LP, Vinyl record album
Dot, Late 60s. Near Mint-
Holy cow! Although some of Leonard Nimoy's albums were attempts to "get past" his Spock career, this one is a full-on Star Trek experience! Nimoy's on the cover, holding a replica of The Enterprise in front of some weird spider web design. On the wax, he's laying down great space stuff ... LP, Vinyl record album
Flying Dutchman/Mega, 1971. Near Mint- Gatefold
A very nice live set by Leon – recorded with a great electric group that has Neal Creque on piano, Cornell Dupree on guitar, Oliver Nelson on alto, and added percussion by Sonny Morgan. The vibe is nice and free, and the tracks have a very spiritual sound, in the manner of the work that ... LP, Vinyl record album
The Way I Feel
Dot, Late 60s. Sealed
Groovy groovy stuff from Mr. Spock! This album features some surprisingly great covers of 60s material – like "Sunny", "Where It's At", and "Both Sides Now". But the real highlights are the originals by Nimoy – one dark and spooky, one surprisingly ... LP, Vinyl record album
Leon Thomas Album
Flying Dutchman, 1970. Very Good+ Gatefold
Leon Thomas' first album for Flying Dutchman – and one of his best ever! The vibe is very similar to his work with Pharoah Sanders – with long modal tracks that bring out the best side of Thomas' spiritual vocalizations – especially on the 17 minute track "Pharoah's Tune ... LP, Vinyl record album
King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings
Prestige, Early 50s. Good+
A record that revolutionized the concept of jazz vocals in the 50s – thanks to famous performances by Annie Ross and King Pleasure! The tracks on the LP include Ross' early interpretations of Wardell Gray's classics "Twisted" and "Farmer's Market", and the King Pleasure ... LP, Vinyl record album
Leon Thomas In Berlin
Flying Dutchman, 1971. Near Mint- Gatefold
A wonderful live performance by vocalist Leon Thomas – and a set that seems to link together both his own excellent solo material of the time, and his key Impulse recordings with Pharoah Sanders! The group here is a small one – with the wonderful Oliver Nelson on alto sax, showing off ... LP, Vinyl record album
Columbia, 1961. Very Good+
A rare jazz vocal album from Dave Brubeck – one that has the famous pianist working here with Carmen McRae – who served up a hose of vocal versions of some of Dave's best compositions! The format is a great one – a really fresh take on the Brubeck idiom, and a setting that makes ... LP, Vinyl record album
Dot, 1959. Very Good
Some of the best material Slim Gaillard ever recorded! Although he's best known for his Verve work, and for his early 40s sessions in LA – these 1959 recordings for Dot have Slim hitting a groove that's far tighter than usual, with a better jazz influence, and a much freer approach to ... LP, Vinyl record album
Sunshine Of Your Love
MPS/Prestige, 1969. Very Good+
Very cool, very groovy, and one of Ella Fitzgerald's hippest albums of the 60s! The set was recorded in San Francisco in the late 60s, but was issued by MPS in Germany as proof that the label always had an ear for bringing something different out of a mainstream artist. And although live, the ... LP, Vinyl record album
Fresh
Atlantic, 1974. Near Mint-
Oscar Brown moves into a funky 70s mode – working here with some great soul-based arrangements by Chicago soul legend Richard Evans! There's lots of funky clavinet grooving on the record by Tennyson Stephens and Marvin Yancy – and other players include Chess/Cadet session groovers, ... LP, Vinyl record album
Time & Love
CTI, 1972. Near Mint- Gatefold
An excellent 70s set by Jackie & Roy – very different than their work of the 50s and 60s, with an approach that's much more far-reaching and complicated – a style that opens up their vocal talents majestically! Gone are the simpler ditties of earlier years, and in their place are ... LP, Vinyl record album
It's A Blue World
Bethlehem, 1955. Very Good
One of the most beautiful albums ever from the great Mel Torme – and a set that's a bit different than his other work for the Bethlehem label too! The set features Mel singing to lush backings from arranger Al Pellegrini – who brings in a mode that definitely lives up to the blue tones ... LP, Vinyl record album
Etta Jones '75
Westbound, 1975. Very Good+
Surprisingly nice album that Etta Jones cut with a larger backing group for Westbound, and a record that has her mixing in soul sounds with her usual jazz-based vocals. The set's got a great version of Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands", and a Marlena Shaw-esque cover of "Go Away ... LP, Vinyl record album
Wilder Alias
CTI, 1974. Very Good+ Gatefold
Jackie & Roy are definitely getting bit wilder here – hitting an electric early 70s CTI mode, and really growing a lot in the process! The session has the vocal pair working with CTI players who include Hubert Laws on flute, Joe Farrell on saxes, Roy Pennington on vibes, and Steve Gadd ... LP, Vinyl record album
Verve, Mid 50s. Very Good
Anita O'Day pays tribute to Downbeat poll winners by singing vocal versions of their big hits in this lively set of jazz tracks from the 50s! Arrangements are by Marty Paich and Russ Garcia, both swinging as nicely as they ever did – and the setting of the album keeps Anita nicely in line, ... LP, Vinyl record album
Argo, 1964. Very Good-
One of the few rare albums cut by Chicago soul jazz singer Jean DuShon, an artist that Chess really tried to push in the mid 60s, but who never really seemed to make it. This one's a nice set of intimate jazz vocal tracks, sung with the Herman Foster trio, and covering a range of material from ... LP, Vinyl record album
Columbia, Late 50s. Very Good
In our opinion, this "comeback" material by Rushing was way better than his original work from the late 30s. He's got more of a sense of control here, and his approach to the material is extremely thoughtful, and always tinged with a good sense of jazz, making it swing a bit more than on ... LP, Vinyl record album
RCA, 1963. Very Good
A killer album that's one of Joe's best! Unlike some of his other albums as a vocalist, in which the arrangements are a bit too cluttered to swing, this nice relaxed live set has Joe hitting a very soulful groove, and stepping out nicely on cuts like "Gravy Waltz", "Come Back ... LP, Vinyl record album
Lena & Gabor
Skye, 1970. Very Good
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 ... LP, Vinyl record album
Amazing Nina Simone
Colpix, 1959. Very Good+
Amazing is right – as Nina Simone is really taking off here – showing the world that she's way more than just another jazz singer – able to hit some righteous currents that would only explode even more in years to come! Nina's emotion is subtle, but extremely powerful – ... LP, Vinyl record album
Gentle Is My Love
Capitol, Late 60s. Very Good
A bit lusher, and a bit more pop-vocal oriented than some of Nancy's other Capitol albums – this one has arrangements by Sid Feller, and a rich string-laden sound that's nicely juxtaposed against Nancy's soulful vocals. Titles include "Gentle Is My Love", "When He Makes ... LP, Vinyl record album
I'm Coming Home Again
Buddah, 1978. Near Mint- 2LP Gatefold
A great smooth soul session from Carmen McRae – an album that's not nearly as well known as her American sides of the 70s, but which is possibly even better overall! The record features a great batch of smooth soul arrangements by Mario Sprouse – a blend of jazz and contemporary soul ... LP, Vinyl record album
Snowbound
Roulette, Early 60s. Very Good
Beautiful later work from Sarah! Although it's easy to think that she "sold out" by making albums like this for Roulette – with a larger backing than before, and more of a pop feel – these albums are also incredible, and feature a sophisticated sense of interpretation we ... LP, Vinyl record album
Impulse, 1964. Sealed Gatefold
A beautiful album by one of our favorite jazz singers! Lorez Alexandria is in a perfect setting here – singing with subtly sophisticated backings that really let her take charge, and direct the songs tightly with her incredibly soulful vocals! Instrumentation is mostly in a small combo ... LP, Vinyl record album
ABC, Late 50s/Early 60s. Very Good+ 2LP Gatefold
A great set of rare early material by Betty Carter – and just about the only way you'll ever find these titles on vinyl! The set features one album Betty Recorded for the Peacock label, with hip arrangements by Gigi Gryce and Melba Liston, and one that she recorded for ABC, with more ... LP, Vinyl record album
Rah
Riverside, 1961. Good+
Great early work by Mark Murphy – a set that's different than the cool breeziness of his 70s work, and done with an approach that's a lot hipper than most of his 60s contemporaries! Ernie Wilkins handles the arrangements, and there's a rollicking soul jazz groove here that's a bit unusual ... LP, Vinyl record album
Luba – Chi Jazz
Erect, 1981. Very Good+
An obscure bit of Chicago jazz – featuring vocalist Luba Raushiek, kind of a self-styled spiritualist, with an approach that hits both traditional modes, and more far-out soulful ones – running through styles that range from Leon Thomas to Billy Eckstine, as was typical for a small club ... LP, Vinyl record album
Feeling Free
MPS, 1975. Very Good+
Possibly the grooviest of many groovy albums that the Singers Unlimited cut for MPS – largely because of some great arrangements by Pat Williams! Pat gives the group a nice little zip – with some large jazzy arrangements that aren't too goofy, and which work well with their perfect ... LP, Vinyl record album
Friends
MPS, 1977. Very Good+
One of the grooviest albums cut by this legendary MPS vocal group – a set that has some very hip friends from the American scene – who blend perfectly with the soaring vocals that the quartet forged in Germany for the MPS label! The music features vocal arrangements from group leader ... LP, Vinyl record album
Verve, Late 40s/1950s. Good+ 2LP Gatefold
A very nicely done compilation of great work by Billie Holiday – featuring tracks recorded for Norman Granz from 1949 to 1957, in small group sessions with players like Joe Newman, Paul Quinichette, Barney Kessel, Ben Webster, and Willie Smith. The tracks have appeared elsewhere on other ... LP, Vinyl record album
Invitation (Pausa)
MPS, 1973. Near Mint-
One of the coolest albums ever cut by the Singers Unlimited – thanks to great instrumentation from the mighty Art Van Damme! Art plays accordion – in a way that works perfectly with the banks of sound and sweetness we love from the group – an instrument whose own breathy tones ... LP, Vinyl record album
Atlantic, 1968. Very Good+
Great Atlantic work from Mose – cut in the early years of his rediscovery by the hippie crowd, but with a tight small combo mode that recalls his classic 50s recordings for Prestige! The group on the set's a trio – with Mose on piano and vocals, Red Mitchell on bass, and Bill Goodwin ... LP, Vinyl record album
Emergency Ward!
RCA, 1972. Very Good
A great little album cut by Nina Simone during the time she was working with Weldon Irvine – a live album that really has the lady stretching out, and showing off all the cool, complicated grooves she brought to a concert setting! Weldon did the arrangements, and they've got a very righteous ... LP, Vinyl record album
Verve, Late 50s. Very Good+
An excellent album of vocals by the great Joe Williams! Joe's always been a fine singer, but with Basie, he really gets the backing he needs to do his work the best. And although this album isn't as authenico as it might be, it still comes from a time when Verve really knew how to handle singers ... LP, Vinyl record album
I Love Everybody
ABC, Mid 60s. Near Mint-
One of the coolest records ever by Johnny Hartman! Unlike his other mellow jazz vocal albums, this one's got a swinging batch of large group backings – handled by Oliver Nelson and Jack Pleis – and one in a way that really brings out a whole new side of Johnny, a very entertaining side ... LP, Vinyl record album
That's All
Columbia, 1966. Very Good+
One of the greatest, straightest sets from Mel Torme – an all-classic batch of tracks that's quite different than his other album for Columbia! Torme checks in as a totally committed, totally serious jazz vocalist here – with an impeccable approach to the music that puts this album ... LP, Vinyl record album
 
Updated December 14, 2018


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