5

147: Frank Sinatra, ‘It Was a Very Good Year’

It’s early October, the leaves and the pages of the calendar are turning, a time for some sober and somber thoughts about whither we are headed. Here’s a great song about October and life and reflection.

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11

069: Catherine Russell, ‘New Speedway Boogie’

In which the daughter of Louis Armstrong’s musical director, Julliard graduate and studio singer par excellence, sparkles up an old Grateful Dead tune backed by a mandoline, string bass and tambourine.
Jerry would have loved it.

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5

206: Lake Street Dive (Rachael Price), ‘I Want You Back’

I tripped over this clip several weeks ago and am still floored. It’s the best music I’ve seen seen/heard in a month of Sundays. And vocalist Rachael Price is a wonder of nature.

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4

020: Esperanza Spalding, ‘I Know You Know’

I had the very good fortune to see Esperanza Spalding perform last week. Even though her hair was bandana’d, she was a knockout. Here’s a piece I wrote a while back about her, her music, sexuality in female performers, and a quirky taxonomy of people who make music with their voices.

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4

026: Andy Bey, ‘River Man’

The finest male jazz vocalist you’re never heard of, with a heart and a vocal range as wide as his 66-year professional career is long.

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6

142: Kat Edmonson, ‘Champagne’

It’s disconcerting when a 28-year old writes Cole Porter songs, or when her cover of a Lennon song outshines the original. Come meet Kat Edmonson, who’s been monopolizing my turntable for the past month.

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1

101: Kurt Elling, “Li’l Darlin'”

I think 43-year old Kurt Elling is the finest male jazz singer ever. So you can imagine my pleasure at having the opportunity recently to take him and his band up to Jerusalem to visit some incredible sites in the Old City. Along the way we had an in-depth discussion about jazz singing and jazz singers, then in the evening I saw a bang-up show. Here’s a long article describing that exceptional day.
https://www.jmeshel.com//?p=2169
In Song of The Week, I compare Kurt’s version of Count Basie’s “Li’l Darlin'” with that of his musical mentor Mark Murphy, explaining why I think this young man is the best. Ever.

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2

100: Luciana Souza, ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’ (“Brazilian Duos”)

Luciana Souza recorded two albums of traditional Brazilian popular music accompanied by a single guitar. She’s consummate artist, relying neither on gimmicks nor on sex appeal, but on a refined, passionate, soulful aesthetic. Listen to her singing ‘Chorinho Pra Ele’. If you aren’t charmed out of your chair, you’re either dead or shouldn’t be listening to music.

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