Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions


02/13/15    Albums

Everybody Says Don't
Mark Jennett

There are great jazz singers. There are great cabaret singers. Then there’s the coterie of uniquely gifted stylists who straddle the border comfortably, seamlessly blending keen jazz instincts with the storytelling élan that fuels cabaret. Ann Hampton Callaway...


02/07/15    Albums

Because of Billie
Molly Johnson

As Molly Johnson explains in the liner notes, when people note her similarity to Billie Holiday, she responds that, no, she’s not “like” Holiday but is “because of” her. Which is a stretch, considering that Johnson’s career began with a brief flirtation...


02/01/15    Albums

Black Bar Jukebox
Allan Harris

The myriad fans who’ve fallen under the spell of Gregory Porter need to give Allan Harris a listen. Though Harris has a dozen previous albums to his credit, including fine tributes to Nat King Cole and Billy Strayhorn, he seems long overdue for Porter-sized...


01/23/15    Albums

Mark Murphy

Throughout Mark Murphy’s remarkably multifaceted recording career, spanning seven decades, there have been only a couple of gaps, the longest stretching from 1991 to 1996. Now, from the tail end of that fallow period come these eight tracks, recorded in...


01/19/15    Albums

Change Partners: Live at the Yardbird Suite
Champian Fulton

Savoring this tight, satisfying hour-long live session, it seems remarkable how briefly vocalist and pianist Champian Fulton had been acquainted with her accompanying trio. As Canadian saxophonist Cory Weeds explains in the liner notes, in 2013 he invited...


01/18/15    Albums

I Give Up, I'm In Love
Marlene Verplanck

At age 81 Marlene VerPlanck remains as plucky as ever. Her voice is increasingly tremulous, her range foreshortened, but 23 albums into a career that started with the big bands of Charlie Spivak and Tommy Dorsey her verve and insight are undiminished. On...


01/11/15    Albums

To Lady With love
Annie Ross

Though she did record one subsequent, posthumously released album, 1958’s Lady in Satin has long been considered Billie Holiday’s exit music. Its musical worth remains heatedly debated, one camp insisting it ranks among her best work, another decrying Holiday’s...


01/09/15    Albums

Save Your Love For Me: Sings the Nancy Wilson Classics
Cynthia Felton

Tribute albums are a tricky business. What, one must invariably ask, is the intent? To replicate the sound of the honoree? To echo his or her style? Or just to cover a slate of associated songs? Intentionally or not, in this case it is the lattermost. Vocalist...


01/09/15    Features

Cyrille Aimée: No Sad Songs

A beautiful, jubilant, tireless, Gypsy-adoring, guitar-crazy singer


01/07/15    Albums

Happy to Be
Julie Kelly

Listening to Julie Kelly, it’s hard not to be reminded of her fellow West Coaster Rebecca Kilgore. Kelly, whose recording career enters its third decade with Happy to Be , her eighth release, shares Kilgore’s crystal-clear phrasing, her effortless way with...


01/03/15    Albums

Pages From an Imaginary Life
Andy Bey

Producer Joe Fields has always been a fine developer of jazz talent. But his greatest gift may be in crafting career renaissances for established yet stalled artists. He did it with Mark Murphy in the 1970s and ’80s, shaping a string of masterpieces for...


01/02/15    Before & After

Before & After with New York Voices

Listening with vocal-jazz survivors


12/30/14    Albums

Marianne Solivan

Though a vital part of the Manhattan jazz scene for more than a decade, Berklee grad Marianne Solivan remains too much a local delicacy. Hopefully Spark , her sophomore release as a leader, is prophetically titled, and will at last ignite wider recognition...


12/24/14    Albums

Embrace Me
Antonia Bennett

Physically, flare-haired Antonia Bennett, the third of Tony’s four children, bears a striking resemblance to her iconic dad. There are notable similarities musically as well. Antonia, a Berklee grad who recently celebrated her 40th birthday and is now three...


12/22/14    Albums

No Regrets
Melissa Stylianou

Given Canadian-in-New-York Melissa Stylianou’s recording trajectory—four previous albums of steadily increasing authority and ingenuity—it’s hardly surprising that No Regrets is so extraordinarily good. Gone are Stylianou’s usual accompanists, replaced by...


12/19/14    Albums

Sammy Figueroa & Glaucia Nasser

Before percussionist Sammy Figueroa proved himself masterful at everything from bebop and vocalist accompaniment to rock and R&B—with a résumé stretching from Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Mark Murphy to Blondie, David Bowie, Annie Lennox and...

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About Christopher Loudon


When the rest of the baby-boomers were wrapped up in the Beatles and the Stones, Christopher Loudon was discovering Sinatra, Fitzgerald and Bennett. Since 2003, Loudon has critiqued upwards of 700 vocal albums in these pages and shaped about a dozen profiles, including Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Roberta Gambarini, Jamie Cullum, Nancy Wilson, Curtis Stigers and Dianne Reeves.