Eva Cassidy was superb. Here are a few more great female voices that that I am enjoying lately: Vienna Teng, Alison Krauss, Holy Cole, Patricia Barber, Jenifer Warnes, Mary Black, and some may disagree, but even K.D. Lang's later works, e.g. her version of Hallelujah. If you dont mind French, try Carla Bruni also.
here's a few vintage 'chosen ones' to seek out...sandi shaw, gayle mccormick, julie driscoll, cathie chamberlain, rory block, jane relf, and yes..lulu.
Shawn Colvin has a beautiful voice.
She IS the chosen one. She has affected me when I have been at my lowest and my highest. She offered me solace when I was away from my children and family for two years and made my stay tolerable. What a voice !!
What makes Eva Cassidy stand out, in addition to her strong, pure voice, is her operatic like presentation. To hear an example of what I am referring to, listen to the female aria/ duet in
"O Terra Addio" from Aida (Placido Domingo, Greatest Artists of the Century series, "Verdi Aria & Duets" EMI, Track 8).
Start with Mozart (Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni) or Verdi (La Travaita) and begin to explore.
Female vocalists that I think anyone would enjoy:
Emmylou Harris - the undisputed Queen of progressive country (not country radio crap)
Eilen Jewell - a bluesy mix of roots music, laid back and sweet
The Burns Sisters - Three sisters who do the most gorgeous harmonies in folk/rock music today
All of these women have the voices of angels and hearts to match. Great voices, great songs, great melodies.
All have cds available at really good prices at Amazon. Go over there and check out the customer reviews. They're among the best there are IMHO.
Hmm, I think Eva had a great, pure voice that was not operatic at all, very popish in my view (nothing wrong with that). She also surprised us with her note choices, even though they're very simple. In this way she is like a jazz singer, but she stays to close to the original line that she stays in the pop genre, without getting into the yodelling that's become so popular since Whitney Houston first did it tastefully and then got carried away.
I don't think that people that take solace in Cassady are going to enjoy Barber or Cole so much. Eva was about the upside and joy and those two see mostly the dark side, IME. (I like them, but stay away).
Stacey Kent is a jazzer that stays close to the melody. Her girl-ish voice always gives me a lift. Another pure, girlish voicalist is Erin Bode.
I'm not trying to be disagreeable, just adding a slightly different view.
This thread would be incomplete without mentioning two great female vocalists not yet mentioned:
Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl and
Rickie Lee Jones.
The last few EBTG albums are too commercial and dance/trance, but their early LPs especially Idlewild, Eden(aka self-titled), and Love Not Money are all very worthwhile.
Rickie Lee is an incredible singer. Her self-titled debut, PopPop and Pirates really show off her voice. Her career has a true deep and evolving body of work that could be discussed at length; but I wander. Listen to her cover of Marty Balin's "Comin' Back to Me" on Pop Pop; it's amazing. Cheers,
Nothing really helps a popular music career like premature death. Tim and Jeff Buckley are a very popular dead father and son and Brit folkie, Nick Drake is a constant dead favorite. I think that the next dead popular singer to have improved her career by taking the bus to the other side will be Brit pop singer Kirsty MacColl who, in addition to her own albums, can be heard on "Fairtytale Of New York", from the Pogues, "If I Should Fall From Grace With God". And speaking of the Pogues, lead singer Shane MacGowan is one of the best sounding dead singers that I can think of.
Add Sophie Milman to your list.
I own about 5k cds and by far, I listen to my Eva Cassidy collection the most frequently. I find not only her voice but also her songs to be very entertaining and enjoyable. My favorite Eva cd is probably Imagine followed closely by American Tune.
Spencer, good call on Tracy Thorn. I have not liked EBTG since Amplified Heart after they got all techno. I had the pleasure of seeing EBTG at the Coach House where I was literally 5 ft away from Tracy and Ben. It was a great, intimate show. I have all their albums including Tracy's solo project (A Distant Shore) and it is really cool to hear the maturation of her voice from a very monotone presentation to one that evokes emotion.
Mike60,Jaybo,Slothmanand Palmersto;I have not heard of most the singers mentioned.But checking out some of the samplers of their works all I can say is thanks amillion.You guys have opened up a new door for me....
DCstep, you are probably right re Barber -- a little dark and different by comparison with Cassidy, but great range/voice as you know. The song showing of her skill would be "too rich for my blood". A great test for your hardware.
Some of Cole's work is a little lighter. I am taken with her song "Trust In Me" from the Jungle Book (if you know the movie context), and "I can see clearly now", which is a song that has nauseated me over the years, but is suddenly injected by Cole's magic.
Mike60, thanks for not being defensive. I like both Barber and Cole, but only listen to them at "the right times." Thanks for the heads up about "Too Rich For My Blood". I'll find it and give my system a workout.
Well recorded female vocalists can reveal a lot about a system.
Love Eva. One of the best. Agree on Stacey Kent - better known in Europe than in the US (she is American but lives in England with her husband who is also her saxophonist). Her latest CD has a lot of original songs - somewhat unusual for many jazz vocalists. You should also look at the Best Audiophile Voices CDs from Premium - a series of 5 CDs with multiple artist, mostly female, including Eva Cassidy, Stacey Kent, Jheena Lodwick, Salena Jones, Etta Jones, Jane Monheit, Alison Krauss, plus lesser knowns like Emi Fujita, Jean Frye Sidwell, Carol Kidd, Jane Duboc. Great collection to get to know some lesser known artists.
some unreleased eva recordings are coming out soon in a cd called 'somewhere'
jaybo, thanks for the headsup. Looks like it will be released on Aug 28th (according to Amazon). Definitely going to buy it!!!!
I'm a little late to this discussion but find Eva to be somewhat incomparable - her voice may not be more remarkable than many mentioned here, but I think it's the combination of style, humility, recording/arrangements and voice that sets her apart.
I think Alison Kraus and Jenifer Warnes are in that league.
"Too Rich For My Blood"
I like Patricia Barber though not the same as Eva, but I find this song mesmerizing. One of my favorites by anyone.
Interesting the mention of Jane Relf (I thought I was the only one). Sadly there's not enough of her on record - just her work with Renaissance/Illusion (and McCarty). I wish there were more. She's one of my favorite vocalists.
Thank you so much for all the recommendations...will be busy ordering from amazon.....that's the place to look for,right?
It would of been great to hear how Eva Cassidy's talent would of developed over the years. What a great loss!
If you enjoyed Eva I think you will also enjoy Shawn Colvin. Shawn has a release out entiled "Cover Girl" .... it has a blend of some studio and live cuts on the disc. I'm postitive you will love and be knocked out from the live cuts and also hear a little of Eva in her voice.
Also try Elusive Disc and Acoustic Sounds for some of the lesser known artists and CDs.
tom and Dtc,
thanks so much for the recommendations.
definitely will check them.
I have to agree she is "the one". Other female singers with gorgeous voices are Sara Brightman and of course the best jazz singer of all time Ella Fitzgerald. A singer you may not be aware of that has a drop dead beautiful voice is Queen Latifah. Early on she sang mostly hip-hop but lately has expanded her repertoire to include ballads. Her album Traveling Light shows off her wonderful voice to great effect.
I have listened high & low to find a vocalist who moved me like Eva Cassidy. After many explorations, there is a not-well known Italian singer, trained in opera, who has done it. Her name is: Maria Pia De Vito.
More info at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Pia_De_Vito
You can google some youtube samples as well as many European reviews.
Mary Fahl a la early October Project...
I've just worked through the six CDs again, and was struck by just how fabulous her voice was. That bell-like purity, the ability to float it, and the ability to "belt" when the song required. On Amazon I've briefly sampled a number of the other chanteuses mentioned in this thread, and so far haven't found anyone else who comes close to her in terms of the timbre / strength / purity of the voice. Surprisingly, perhaps Alison Kraus, when she's in a less strongly country-inflected mode, would be my top pick so far.
So my question is: who comes close to sounding something like EC?
Nobody, she is a one off who seemed to sing in so many styles/genres so effectively. I'll never listen to Judy Garland again! But there are some blues and jazz singers that are as excellent, or better, certainly different, in their specific genres.
But, she is great and special. I've kept her discs for specials occasions so I'll continue to appreciate her uniqueness.