192: Les Double Six of Paris, “Moanin'”

The hard-bop jazz vocal sextet Les Double Six of Paris–their sources, their contemporaries and their followers; and why vocal jazz groups loved singing Count Basie.

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178: The Claudia Quintet +1 feat. Kurt Elling, ‘Showtime’ (“What is the Beautiful?”)

What is the Beautiful?
(Hint: The best things in life are acquired tastes.)

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173: The Real Group, ‘Nature Boy’

An immaculate union of the pristine and the passionate – The Real Group in a breathtaking take on ‘Nature Boy’. It’s just a little perfect.

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168: Neal Hefti, ‘Girl Talk’

Women are a superior breed to men, but everyone from God to James Thurber knows they sure like to talk. Girl Talk.
I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

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139: The Swingle Singers, ‘On the 4th of July’ (James Taylor)

This week we talk about the United States’ bar mitzvah, how we discovered Bach, the history of The Swingle Singers, the marvels of Scandinavian a cappella festivals, and older people falling in love.

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169: The Mills Brothers, ‘Jungle Fever’

Four Boys and a Guitar. The Mills Brothers sounded so much like a jazz band back in the early 1930s that the company wrote on their record labels “No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one guitar.” And they sang great scat, and great tight harmonies. And they had class, In abundance.

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148: Andy Williams, ‘The Days of Wine and Roses’

We all have our weaknesses. For some it’s wine, for some it’s cocaine, for some it’s merely nostalgia. Two gifts from Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer, as presented by Andy Williams–‘Moon River’, and especially ‘The Days of Wine and Roses’,

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138: Eliane Elias, ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’

I can’t think of a single reason why Brazilian/American jazz/bossanova pianist/singer Eliane Elias isn’t a household name – she is a serious musician, outstandingly talented, commercially appealing, and uncommonly pleasing to look at.

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