Try Holly Cole
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Flora Purim, Cesaria Evora both from Brazil. Don't pay attention to Portugese if you don't understand. Just simply listen to their voices and music. Flora Purim sings English in "Light as a Feather" album of Chick Corea. You should definitely get her brilliant work with Dizzy Gillaspie "Rhythmstick".
If you want to hear a realy different female vocal in terms of theme and style try Sally Oldfield(UK). You should seek to find her participating in albums of Mike Oldfield, Pierre Moerlene or Pekka Pohjola.
Meridith Monk is on the highest sophistication level but you can give her a try -- maybe you'll "swallow it" maybe not.
If you want to explore an unknown novelty, bordering on off topic, try Bet Williams at http://www.epiphanyrecords.com/. She's more a kind of arty singer songwriter than jazz/torch song singer, and I can't vouch for the recording quality, but you could check out some mp3s at the site. I would tend towards "Epiphany Project" (Bet Williams & John Hodian) than the album with "Ooh La La". That latter song is not my cup of tea. Try "Lockerbie" and "Long Gray Line".
Barber is in her own space and time. Not sure what solar system that would be in,definatly not ours. My freinds always like it when I turn them on to something new. The responce I get when playing Barber for someone for the first time is almost always priceless. I wish she would get some radio airtime.
I caught her live at The Regattabar in Harvard Square last fall, and can agree that she's REALLY in another inner space altogether lately. Fortunately her bandmates have a glimpse, but stay well-rooted for the ride. Iher response to my attempt at banter re her being an audiophool fave after her first set was met with a too-cool "Yeah, I heard."
Hello--I play bass with Patricia and thought I'd say hi.I'm assebling my first (kindof) audiophile system. I think Auidiogon is way cool----I've been able to sell some of my ancient stuff and but some pretty cool stuff here. Patty is actually a little less weird and austere than she seems. She's actually extremely she and a little( well maybe more than a little) socially awkward. We've played together for about 23 years.