Try Tierney Sutton ( Telarc label ) ..One of the best out there..Incredible voice..I would suggest start with an album tittled " Something Cool " first and go from there...Every one of her albums is great..Much more open and uplifting then Pat Barber,,,,
The classic's are always a good place to begin. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arthur Prysock, Johnny Hartman, Billie Holiday, Diane Schuur, Mary Stallings, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Shirley Horne, tony Bennett, Mary Washington, Ray Charles, etc.
Newer artists I like are Kevin Spacey, Susanah McCorkle, Norah Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eva Cassidy, Steve Tyrell, and even Queen Latifa, Gladys Knight, K D Lang, and Rod Stewart have put out Jazz CDs.
There's a new guy from England, fairly young whose name I forget but his interpretation of some standards is fresh... he plays piano and sings too. Not sure if Michael Bubble qualifies.
Manhattan Transfer puts out some nice sounding albums, and The Johnny Nocturne Band 'Million Dollar Secret' has a female singer Kim Nattalie ? also their 'Wild & Cool' CD has another female vocalist that does a good job.
Check out places like Amazon, itunes, etc and see what others grab your attention by clicking about and listening to previews. ONce you enter one artist other recomendations will pop up and you can pursue those... it's time well wasted and who knows what you'll discover on your own!
Holly Cole is my favorite.
Have you tried Nina Simone or Ricky Lee Jones?
Some of my favorite contemporary jazz singers are Laverne Butler (Blues in the City/MaxJazz), Rene Marie (Live at Jazz Standard/MaxJazz), and Mary Stallings (Live at the Village Vanguard/MaxJazz).
And if you like Krall's style, you MUST hear Shirley Horn (I Thought About You, Live at Vine St/Verve). She is a bit more laid back than Krall but she is one of the best, if not the best, in this style, i.e. singer-pianist, and has a much better voice. She has passed but has a large and excellent discography.
For others that haven't yet been mentioned, try Kurt Elling, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Cleo Laine, Rachelle Ferrell, Abbey Lincoln
Sophie Millman's self titled first album. Top notch sound and performance, her vocals are hot also!
ALso Purrfect: The Eartha Kitt collection, a lot of nicely recorded tracks including Santa Baby and lots of fun.
Straight ahead-honest-unpretentious-sensual,full of warmth and elegance,wit and charm.Great chops beyond her years....British singer Tina May-almost unknown in this country.A real sleeper!
here are some articles regarding building a jazz library focasing on vocals
1917-1950 - http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=18804
1951-1968 - http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=18803
1969-2001 - http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=18726
Tierney Sutton (Dancing in the Dark is sublime)
Shelby Lynne (Just a Little Lovin', now an all time favorite)
Ella Fitzgarld - all the "Sings _______ Songbook" great voice
Chet Baker (vocal album is OK, but the instrumental ones are just incredible)
Great list already - try also Robbie Williams' Swing when you are winning. Maceo Parker is worth checking out too.
Nancy King "Live At Jazz Standard" with pianist Fred Hersch: the pure essence of jazz singing. Grammy-nominated 2-3 years ago, this album was recorded on the sly by Hersch. It documents King and Hersch literally meeting on the bandstand, no rehearsal. I would stand on Diana Krall's piano bench and pronounce Nancy King the world's greatest jazz singer.
Many great suggestions. I would add Karrin Allyson to the list, she is really top-notch.
Since I heard Freddy Cole on the radio, I've bought everything I could find by him. I can listen to him for hours.
Try Rio de Janeiro Blue on Telarc.
Second the Holly Cole and Tierney Sutton and, of course, the classics mentioned too, but the BEST piano jazz vocal has to be Shirley Horn, "You Won't Forget Me". Been using it for a reference for years. The sound quality is superb and the performance is here best (which is saying a lot).
Check out Hope Waits (no relationship to Tom). She does not sing jazz but more of a jazzy, bluesy, rock mix. Her debut gets high marks on artistic merit and very high on sound quality.
I think she deserves more attention than she's gotten, but she may be a little too close to Norah Jones territory for her own good. I think she's better than Norah and recommend her to everyone.
I just bought the Hope Waits CD and agree that the similarity of her vocals to Norah Jones is uncanny and also that I prefer her to Norah.
However, I found the sound of the Hope Waits CD to be a bit sterile and thin (just as with Norah Jones' releases) compared to the best.
Kurt Elling has a great voice. I believe he is on the Concorde label and appears on some Naim recordings.
Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane is a superb recording from every perspective.
Just bought two Eva Cassidy CDs. Phenomenal sound and music. A must add to the list...
I'll second, or third, the Shirley Horn suggestion above and recommend another singer with similar tendencies--Carmen McRae. When you're in the mood for something a little more soulful, try Etta James. All have very distinctive and truly wonderful voices.
Etta James "Blues to the Bone" will blow your socks off.
I second Carmen Mcrae. A blend of a bluesy/jazzy voice. Nicely phrased with a touch of sultry-ness. Check out her live lps, such as, "Live At Birdland". Great backup band with creative solos.
Great links... thanks.
Check out the "Modern day female jazz recommendations" thread in the What Do You Think sticky section if you have not already. Lots of good suggestions.
There are a lot of great suggestions here. For Eva Cassidy, I especially like Live at Blues Alley. Am currently listening to Imagine. So sad she left us so early.
Stacey Kent is one of my favorites, with her husband Jim Tomlinson on sax.
Premium Records out of Singapore has a series of Best Audiophile Voices CDs (4 CDs plus a Selections one) with a great collection of lesser known, as well as well known, artists. Recording quality is excellent. This type of compliation CD with major artists is very unusual. If nothing else, look at the artists for some very interesting options. Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc carry them, although they are often out of stock. Volume 1 is coming out on vinyl also.
Once you hear some of great suggestions here, it will be interesting to see how you feel Dianna Krall compares.
Just changed to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane. Not many male vocalist like him around anymore. And the sax player is not bad either.
This is mentioned on another thread.
Melody Gardot's second (and probably her first) album is terrific. She is on youTube if you want a sneek peek. She's in a video in the tub, (not R rated) just sensual, and her voice is (to my taste) better than Krall.
Of course I second Peterh, 'Ella, say no more'.
Also, Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderly, her first album and its with Cannonball. Circa 1962--It alternates one vocal, one instrumental. Cannonball's "I can't Get Started" is one of the finest examples of Alto Saxaphone playing I've ever heard.
Its a Capital release and was reissued. Should be available,
Agree - Ella is one of a kind and a necessary part of any discussion about vocalists. Add Louis Armstrong and you have a really unique pairing. Verve Jazz Masters 24: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is a great start.
Wow, great responses!! I've tried Hope Waits, Tierney Sutton and re-familiarized myself with Rickie Lee Jones. First of all I'd like to STRONGLY recommend the Hope Waits CD. FANTASTIC sound quality, absolutely no digital "compression"; sounds like a living-room performance. Tierney Sutton has a beautiful voice, but I found the material suitable only for elevator rides. Rickie Lee is a pistol, but I think that Hope Waits has beat her at her own prog/rock/folk/blues game. Thanks all.
Yup, the Hope Waits is a reference recording of some marvelous music. Not a week goes by that I don't take a listen.