singer, songwriter, Sue Hart,
just released her new jazz cd, "Private Book", July, 2002. Sue
says "there's a lot of heart put into this album, excuse the pun, but
it's true. Everyone who worked on ""Private Book"" gave
110 percent", which features the smooth jazz single, "You Already
Know" on SatTat Records. Sue is joined by an ensemble of talented friends,
James Shattuck, Jim Quealy, Richard Bredice, Karen Hammack, and Jim Martin
all of whom have brought their songwriting, musicianship, and production
skills to the new release.
"Sue...was this ever a pleasant surprise!!! I like
all of the songs, but "You already know" should easily be topping
the charts. That song has unlimited potential. Your vocals sound effortless.
Talent, time, and work have certainly paid off; it must be great to be able
to sing like that. All the instruments are top notch also."
Paul from soundclick.com more
of Jazz Singers
Most of the
20th century's singers performed in the jazz idiom, though not all rank
in the style known as vocal jazz. While jazz singers from Russ Columbo
to Doris Day to Johnny Mathis relied on talent and vocal strength alone
to carry material, jazz singers instead chose to interpret standards
in much the same way as the great jazz instrumentalists: their readings
of the great American songbook required talents related to improvisation,
musicianship, harmony, even personalizing a song to bring a new meaning
to the lyric.
A pair of early giants, Louis
Armstrong and Bing Crosby, recorded distinctive readings of standards,
often looking inward to distinguish jazz singing from the more simplistic
reading of a pop song. From the big-band era came dozens of major jazz
singers, most of the best in fact. Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella
Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Joe
Williams; all of them worked long hours touring with swing bands, and
most of these jazz singers were repaid in kind with major success during
the post-war era, when this style really bloomed.
Though it wasn't always easy
separating jazz singers from traditional pop, those in the jazz repertoire
usually earned the tag by delivering variations of their material in performance
or scatting wordlessly in emulation of a jazz soloist. They also generally
refused no-name orchestras and generic pop hits of the day, preferring
instead the work of talented arrangers (Nelson Riddle, Billy May) and
truly great composers (Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins).
Just as jazz vocalists of the
'40s and '50s stretched the concept of swing, post-bop singers interpreted
the frantic tempoes and exploratory solos of jazz instrumentalists with
their own experiments. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross indulged in manic
harmonies, while a host of vocalists (including Betty Carter, Mark Murphy,
and Abbey Lincoln) explored radical charts and improvisation. Even while
the ranks of jazz vocalists thinned during the 1970s and '80s, many jazz
artists continued in the style. In the late 90's into the 2000's we find
such artists as Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, and Karrin
Allyson, just to name a few, carrying the torch into the new century.