Modern day female jazz recommendations

We all know the classics from decades ago. What are your favorite your more contemporary female jazz singers of today?

Living close to Nashville I have the opportunity to see and hear a lot of up and coming artists. Nashville is NOT just country music by a long shot.

I'll start with Diana Krall....
diana krall
karen allyson
marilyn scott
holly cole trio, jacqui naylor
Holly Cole, Katie Malua, Madelyne Peyroux, Lisa Ekdahl come to mind.
X2 on Roberta Gambarini!
Laverne Butler, Rene Marie and Mary Stallings. Fine jazz singers.
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Kellye Gray.

A rather obscure voice out of Austin. Try her 'Standards in Gray'. I stumbled upon this CD in a used bin and have enjoyed it countless times. You will not be disappointed.
All great recommendations...some I have not heard of but will pursue....PLEASE keep them coming.
Cassandra Wilson, Patricia Barber and Susanne Abbuehl.
Jane Monheit, Tierny Sutton
Terrific thread going on over at Asylum on this very same subject. Some tremendous recommendations.
Perhaps not very well known in North America, but if you like Diana Krall try to hear British stalwart Clare Teal. Perhaps leans to the big band sound, but mixes some contemporay writing (her own included) with the standards.
Hope I'm not showing my ignorance by classifying her as a 'jazz singer'!
my favorite are Cassandra Wilson, Patricia Barber, Madeleine Peyroux, Jacintha(light but pleasant depending on the mood), Diana Krall(although not the last 2 albums).
I also listento Cesaria Evora but it's more of a world music than jazz...sort of like Buena Vista Social Club.
Rebecca Parris, Mary Stallings,Diane Reeves. Regina Belle is not necessarily known as a jazz singer more pop/rb actually but has an excellent voice.
Don't forget Eva Cassidy.
Definitely Eva Cassidy
Do yourself a favor & bypass music by DK with an orchestra.
Beavis, I agree. Good catch.
These are must have CD's to have for female jazz. These are mood setters.
Shirley Horn--Here's to Life
Stacey Kent--Dreamsville
Laura Fygi--Bewitched
Jacintha--Autumn Leaves
Carole Sloan and Stacy Kent come to mind of those not mentioned already.
Abbey Lincoln -- she has been around but is still issuing new recordings. Try her if you like a voice burnished by a little age and experience. Start with "You Gotta Pay the Band" with Stan Getz on sax. Then try her latest, "Abbey Sings Abbey," which stretches the limits of jazz instrumentation but in really engaging ways. And yes, for some late night listening sessions when you've had enough of the office and everyone in it, Diana Krall can soothe the soul. A glass of Cabernet goes nicely with her "When I Look in Your Eyes."
Madeleine Peyroux sounds somewhat like Billie Holiday and Robin Mc Kellee sounds quite a bit like Ella.

Tierney Sutton, with her nasal sound, I simply can't bear to listen to.
Liz wright...not quite jazz but good
I just got Valerie Joyce's "The Look of Love," and Chesky's production is seductive. It puts me back in a jazz bar I remember at the top of an upscale hotel in Baltimore, twenty-five years ago. Sigh.
Can you believe that Madeleine Peyroux does not like being compared to Billie Holiday?

On to the question at hand, I agree with most of the posts. Believe it or not but Queen Latifah's latest is really great.

Also, an overlooked singer that is a favorite of mine is Susannah McCorkle

Ron Taylor
Ron, the Dan Owens album is actually pretty good. She is a very nice, smooth singing style. Her voice sounds remarkably pure and sweet. Good call!
Diana Krall has talent but to me she sounds like someone who mimics jazz singing. She sounds like she's "trying" to sing jazz rather than having a natural jazz voice. Maybe I just don't like the sound quality of her voice but my wife loves her. Her lazy sleepy style seems contrived too. In my opinion if you want to hear a modern female jazz singer who gets it done beautifully and naturally with great style, then listen to Nnenna Frelon. She is likely the most underrated female jazz artist of the past two decades. Nnenna is constantly overlooked. It's always Barber, Krall, and the like.
Agree 100% regarding Krall - contrived is correct. Tries too hard is another way to put it. Barber, Wilson, and even Norah Jones are far more original and soulful. Wlll look into Frelon. Thanks!
Check out the label Max Jazz.Also I like Stacey Ken and Dizzy Gillespie's daughter had some great releases no to long ago called "Some Cat's Know" that is sooooo sexy!!!if your a novice (after 6K jazz recordings in past 20 years I wish I had never seen that Movie about Chet Baler "Let's Get Lost".It's along story) I ran the jazz section of a CD/hgh end shop for 6 years.Email if you want specifics but 1)Billie2)Ella3)Sara Vaughn4)Dinah Washinton5)Betty Carter.I'd add Cris Connor and Anita O'Day to that list.Best today is not thje over exposed now ruined with lousy commercial production Diann Krall but Dianne Reeves.All jazz lovers should get a copy of The All Music Guide To Jazz and use the web site to look up individuals and use the music maps for instruments (including voice) and styles/idoms from Storyville in WWW I to today and break it down very well.
Chazzbo, everyone has an opinion of course, but to mention the best modern day female jazz singers and not have Nnenna Freelon in the conversation is a huge oversight.
Joni Mitchell who, IMHO, is a wonderful "jazz" songstress.
Anat Cohen - 'Noir' & 'Poetica' - Released on the fabulous Anzic label, both recorded beautifully. This Sax/Clarinet player's star is shining nova-white right now. These record's are must-haves for any music-lover!!
I just listened to Eden Atwood's "This Is Always -- The Ballad Sessions", featuring Tom Harrell on 45rpm vinyl from Groovenote. I highly recommend this album. Start with "Blame It On My Youth" which is served up as a vocal/bass/flugel trio. Eden has fantastic control and very good interpretive skills. Harrell is in his "breathy" flugel mode and the bassist (sorry I've forgotten his name) is stellar. The surfaces are dead silent and the engineering is beyond peer.

I give this five-stars. ;-)

I still like the really funky Candy Dulfer, as well as Deanna Kirk, Eliane Elias, Mindi Abair and, though less today than 5 years ago, Holly Cole.
Diane Hubka is great. Check out her latest release with songs from movies.

Inga Swearingen

Hear her on The Prairie Home Companion over the weekend...bell-like voice..clean, pure..wonderful....reminded me of Eva Cassidy.
Wow, what a great thread, female jazz singers are my obsession, to the point it even makes my wife jealous. Already well-recognized here is who I think is the greatest living female jazz artist, Casandra Wilson. My only complaint is it seems her recording engineers think undefined bass is the way to go (EVERY album is like that). Her album with the wonderful pianist Jacky Terrason "Rendezvous" is a jazz great. Lizz Wright, already mentioned, is another artist with huge potential.

But there's other major talent. A few years ago Jeanie Bryson did one of my favorite albums, "Jeanie Bryson sings songs of Peggy Lee." I don't think I've ever heard a more sensuous, sexy album with lyrics like "Some cats know how to stir up a feelin' . . . they keep foolin' around until your halfway to the ceiling . . some cats know how to make the honey flow." Whew!

Just yesterday I got in the mail a group I'd never even heard of (don't you love Amazon's used library?), "Dave's True Story," doing the album "Nature." The vocals are by the lovely Kelly Flint, who is also a non-jazz solo artist. A truly great album, every song.

Another new discovery, and surprise, is the album "Swing" by Suzy Bogguss, who normally does country stuff. Wow, I hope she gives up country forever. Every song is impeccable, and the album's sound engineering is first class.

Some people don't know Natalie Cole has done a couple of albums of jazz standards. Her "Stardust" album is still my test CD for new component/cable changes because the sound engineering is perfect (especially "What a Difference a Day Makes").

The ladies who sing for Manhattan Transfer do great swing jazz, and Basia is great with Matt Bianco doing Latin Jazz on "Matt's Mood."

Some other good artists include Sara Gazarek, Cheryl Bentyne, Shirley Horn, Dianne Schuur, some of Patti Ausin's stuff, Linda Ronstadt!!!, Kitty Margolis, Pink Martini (tho not strictly jazz)...

Someone I listen to often who seems a little overlooked as a jazz singer is Brenda Russell. Some of her songs are sort of on the border since a few make it to pop music, but she is an amazing musician. Consider her impressive album "Paris Rain," where she wrote every song but one. The song "Love and Paris Rain" is downright mystical jazz, if there is such a thing, an absolutely hypnotic masterpiece.
If you love "Some Cats Know" listen to Maria Muldaur doing it 0n "Woman Alone With The Blues". Great singer, great album.

This thread has been great - I have been listening to a lot of Anita O' Day and Helen Merrill as a result.
This might surprise a few people, but check out "Trav'lin' Light" by Queen Latifah. The lady can DEFINELY sing the traditional pop and RnB standards from the likes of Ella, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughn, ect. Matter of fact, I believe this CD is up for a Grammy this year.
Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dianne Reeves have several very fine jazz recordings between them. You can check em out on Amazon. Two British birds with some good sounding jazz on Linn recordings are Claire Martin and Carol Kidd. If you're old school try Clap Hands! Here Comes Charlie with Ella Fitzgerald (Verve). Then, you'll know.
Madeline Peroux, Tierney Sutton, Patricia Barber, and, with the right tunes....Joni Mitchell.
I'd like to second Stacey Kent. Her "Breakfast on the Morning Tram" is a great new album. "Collection" and "Collection II" would also be a great place to start. Evidently she's really big in the UK. I only just heard of her last week, but she's now on the heavy play list. Her voice is really pure and light. She really makes good use of dynamics and always has a great band behind her.

I'm sorry for repeating myself, but sgain Nnenna Freelon continues to be overlooked by jazz listeners. I cannot stress any more fervently what a gross oversight this is. She is simply outstanding. Of the female jazz singers out there, her voice places her among the top artists. She does not have that many recordings, true, but she is a real virtuoso and deserves to be recognized. It seems that little or nobody knows her work. Educate thyself!
Foster 9, And how would Freelon sound compared to three of my recent favorites Butler, Marie, and Stallings, stylewise anyway? If she is anything like these I'll check her out. :-)
Unfortunately Newbee I am not familiar with the singers you mention. I hope you'll check out Nnenna Freelon anyway. You can get a feel for her voice here:
An easy way to check out some of these recommended singers is either with the samples at Amazon or the artists' sites.