5

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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10

033: Radka Toneff, ‘The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress’ (Jimmy Webb)

You’ve never heard of the Norwegian singer Radka Toneff. Trust me, it’s your loss.
Listen to her sing Jim Webb’s ‘The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress’. Tell me you weren’t moved.

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1

287: Moses Sumney, ‘Incantation’

Moses Sumney is the best vocalist I’ve ever heard.
And you know I NEVER exaggerate.

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7

105: The Boswell Sisters, ‘Crazy People’

The Boswell Sisters had 20 hits in the early 1930s, and are arguably THE best vocal jazz group ever. Their 3-part harmonies are tighter than Aunt Bertha’s girdle, and their arrangements are constantly chock full of unexpected shifts in tempo, major/minor mode, key, and tone, flipping cheekily from dead serious to insouciant comic and back. They have a wicked and sometimes rather racy sense of humor. Their vocals are so hot they were often thought to be black. They scat with the best of them, and do knock-out imitations of instruments and nonsense sounds. A pleasure and an education, 80 years on.

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5

102: Netanela, ‘Shir HaYona’ (Matti Caspi)

In 1974, while working with an IDF entertainment troupe as his reserve duty, 25 year-old composer/singer Matti Caspi discovered the 19 year-old singer/soldier Netanela. He composed ‘Shir HaYona’ (Song of the Dove) for her, a secular peace prayer which still resonates today.

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4

099: Luciana Souza, ‘Baião à Tempo’ (“An Answer to Your Silence”)

I get that not everyone needs to go hacking through impregnable jazz jungles or crawling across atonal minimalist deserts or getting lost in endless Nordic a cappella virgin forests. But believe me, Luciana Souza’s “An Answer to Your Silence” is vocal jazz of singular, innovative genius – groundbreaking, underappreciated, and regretfully unknown. It is THE most interesting CD I’ve heard in the last decade.

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6

022: Roberta Sá and Chico Buarque, ‘Mambembe’

So many readers enjoyed last week’s post about the chemistry between Vilray (a 5) and Rachael Price (a 17) that I’m sharing again with you my favorite May-December clip.
A man and a woman and the electricity between them.
Ah, Brasil…

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7

272: Vilray, ‘Do Friends Fall in Love?’ (with Rachael Price)

In a perfect world, the best girls would go for the most talented guys.
Vilray is a most talented guy. Rachael Price is definitely the best girl.
And here they are, singing together.

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