Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

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06/26/16    Albums

Take Me to the Alley
Gregory Porter

Whatever the discipline, whenever a star rises too far too fast there’s invariably backlash, a too-big-for-his-britches reset. Gregory Porter, his breakout velocity rivaled only by Cécile McLorin Salvant, is surely due. But judging by Take Me to the Alley...

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06/25/16    Albums

Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella was a little late to the party. When impresario Norman Granz launched what would become his landmark series of Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts and tours in 1944, his all-star lineups included other vocalists, Billie Holiday among them. When he finally...

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06/24/16    Albums

Better Than Anything...Live
Sheila Jordan

Still going strong at 87, Sheila Jordan was a mere lass of 62 when San Francisco radio host Bud Spangler broadcasted this 60-minute set from Kimball’s East in Oakland in 1991. Just prior to his death in 2014, Spangler unearthed his radio check of the session...

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06/23/16    Albums

August Love Song
Heather Masse & Roswell Rudd

Though she was born and raised in Maine and studied vocal jazz at NEC, Heather Masse remains best known for her now decade-long membership in the Canadian folk/bluegrass trio the Wailin’ Jennys and her frequent appearances, with and without the group, on...

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06/22/16    Albums

Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin
Willie Nelson

Suggesting that Willie Nelson’s voice has aged is like saying a sequoia seems somehow gnarlier. Sure Nelson’s trademark sound has grown more grizzled, a bit more parched. But place this latest collection of standards aside his landmark Stardust , from 1978...

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06/03/16    Albums

The Judy Garland Project
Hilary Kole

Though her career touched four decades, Judy Garland released surprisingly few albums. None, save 1961’s landmark Judy at Carnegie Hall , were major successes; her recordings generated nowhere near the sales or acclaim of LPs by such contemporaries as Sinatra...

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05/31/16    Albums

Halfway There
M'Balia

If you number among the myriad vocal jazz fans bowled over by Cécile McLorin Salvant, prepare to be wowed anew, and in much the same way. Philadelphia’s M’Balia Singley has been singing since childhood, but postponed the launch of her professional career...

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05/28/16    Albums

United
Dena DeRose

Pianist-vocalist Dena DeRose and drummer Matt Wilson have been making beautiful music together for more than a decade and a half, nearly the entirety of her recording career. Their sublime rapport was, some nine years ago, expanded and intensified with the...

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05/25/16    Albums

He Was the King
Freddy Cole

Musically speaking, Freddy Cole has long maintained a rather schizophrenic relationship with his big brother. Freddy was only 33 when Nat died in 1965. Just starting to secure attention as a vocalist and pianist, he found himself overwhelmed by Nat’s giant...

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05/21/16    Albums

Traces
Camila Meza

Music-savvy New Yorkers have been aware of Camila Meza for a while now. Seven years have passed since the Chilean vocalist and guitarist, then just 22, migrated to the Big Apple. Three previous albums focused on American and Latin standards, plus wider forays...

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05/20/16    Albums

Home Suite Home
Patrick Williams

It’s hardly surprising that composer-arranger-conductor Patrick Williams’ big-band work is so grandly cinematic; over his half-century in show business he has scored more than five-dozen films, most famously 1979’s Breaking Away , which earned him an Oscar...

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05/18/16    Albums

En Vie
Camille Bertault

Even if you don’t understand a word of French, the enormity of Camille Bertault’s gift is immediately, intoxicatingly evident. The Parisian singer-songwriter, still in her early 20s, began studying classical piano with her father at age 4, but quickly developed...

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05/15/16    Albums

Spring
Susie Arioli

As its title suggests, Susie Arioli’s eighth studio release is all about fresh starts. Appropriately, it is the Montreal-based singer-songwriter’s first album-length outing without guitarist and musical alter ego Jordan Officer. Subbing on guitar is one...

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05/10/16    Albums

The Theory of Joy
Ian Shaw

Great jazz singers, like great comedians, are masters of timing. That Ian Shaw is a virtuoso of both disciplines, balancing standup and concert gigs, speaks to the breadth of his genius and to the singularity of his style as a singer. It’s hardly surprising...

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05/06/16    Albums

Live at Rosy's
Sarah Vaughan

Following a lengthy Following a lengthy fallow period, the late 1970s proved a particularly fertile time for Sarah Vaughan. In 1977 she signed with Norman Granz’s Pablo label and began a stellar series of studio albums. In May 1978, not long after the first...

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05/02/16    Albums

One to One: Jane Harvey Sings Ellington
Jane Harvey

Surely the most underappreciated jazz vocalist of the past half-century, Jane Harvey boasted a résumé that included stints with Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Desi Arnaz but recorded infrequently as a leader. Harvey’s record sales were minuscule at best...

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About Christopher Loudon

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