4

185: Frank Sinatra, ‘High Hopes’

‘Lyrist’ Sammy Cahn and his composer partner Jimmy Van Heusen wrote 87 songs for Frank Sinatra.
Asked “Which comes first, the words or the music?” Sammy answered “The phone call.”

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2

058: Dave Frishberg, ‘Van Lingle Mungo’

Here’s an unpredictable gem of a song – the lyric consists entirely of names of obscure baseball players from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Trust me, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this song, the magic that only music can create, this poignant statement about how we perceive the treasures of our childhood.

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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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3

023: Tommy Edwards, ‘It’s All In the Game’

Q: Who was the only sitting Vice President to write a song that became a #1 hit?
A: Gen. Charles Gates Dawes.

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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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4

088: Lizz Wright, ‘Old Man’

Here’s a gift — Lizz Wright’s cover of a typically shallow and affected and annoying Neil Young junker. Her treatment reeks of rural Georgia blues gone west via Memphis to be reborn in an LA studio. It displays a harmonic and hormonic candor that’s charged with enough electricity to frizzle your synapses, guys.

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