Here’s a classic YouTube video with Dakota Staton demonstrating the art of scat singing. Beautiful!
Vocal jazz legend Dakota Staton, passed away in New York last Tuesday, after a lengthy illness. She was known for her big brash style, similar to Sarah Vaughan. Her album, “The Late, Late Show“, garnered critical acclaim for her fresh interpretations of standards such as “Broadway” and “Summertime”.
This weeks American Idol was my favorite so far, not because the performances were so great, but because it was nice to hear some of the old standards get some exposure on primetime TV. It would have been better if some of the contestants took to heart some of the knowledge that Tony Bennett tried to impart. But it seems like swing is becoming a lost art. However, tonight’s performance by Michael Buble renewed my hope in the preservation of vocal jazz. Here’s a YouTube video with Michael and Tony performing “Just In Time” from Bennett’s “Duets” CD. Witness the passing of the torch!
Tony Bennett-“Duets: An American Classic” (Sony)
Kurt Elling “Nightmoves” (Concord)
This is the latest release from Vocalese master Kurt Elling, who eschews his usual big, brassy presentation for a new low-key approach. The new style really allows you to appreciate the wonderful tone that he has.
Matt Dusk-“Back in Town” (Decca)
Matt Dusk is the other young crooner from Canada, who like his contemporaries Michael Buble and Jamie Cullum, injects a youthful exuberance into classic songbooks. On this album he alternates between Great American Songbook pieces, and delicate pop numbers, with the majority of them augmented by a big band. If you like Buble and Cullum, then you should check out Dusk.
The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review has a nice review of Patti Austin’s latest release, “Avant-Gershwin”. While the material is not original or groundbreaking, her crystal-clear and energetic interpretations of Gershwin tunes makes for a very nice listen.
Patti Austin-“Avant Gershwin”
Here’s a You Tube clip from taken from the recording of one of my favorite albums. It’s Diane Schuur live with the Count Basie Orchestra, singing “I Just Found Out About Love”. Enjoy!
Diane Schuur “Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra” (GRP)
According to Canada.com, Diana Krall is returning to the stage about five months after delivering twins last December. Scheduled for May 5th, Krall’s performance will benefit a Children’s Health Program at a Hospital in her native Canada.
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