Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions


07/15/14    Albums

Way Forward Way Back
Les Grant

A true renaissance man, Les Grant is a trailblazer in online healthcare, a senior hospital executive in Manhattan, an accomplished actor with a spectrum of regional and off-Broadway successes, a gifted writer and, in whatever spare time that leaves, a jazz...


07/10/14    Albums

Louis Prima Jr. & the Witnesses

For a while, Louis Prima Jr. resisted the call of the wild. The only son of the celebrated Vegas headliner, Prima Jr. fronted a locally successful rock outfit in his 20s and continued to dabble in music while building a career in Sin City’s food and beverage...


07/05/14    Albums

While You Were Sleeping
Jose James

On his fifth studio album, inveterate genre-blurrer José James again travels in dynamic new directions. This is obvious just two seconds into the first track, “Angel,” as guitarist Brad Allen Williams unleashes an opening riff that isn’t jazz, isn’t soul...


06/20/14    Albums

Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen
Barb Jungr

Many singers have dipped into the Dylan songbook, but none as deeply or masterfully as Britain’s Barb Jungr. As Jungr has often recounted, around the dawn of the new millennium she heard a voice inside her head insisting, “You must sing the songs of Bob...


06/15/14    Albums

My Favorite Color
Jackie Allen

Eight years’ absence from the recording studio has done nothing to diminish Jackie Allen’s allure. The voice—dusky, mellow and wise—is as spellbinding as ever, now shot through with a captivating world-weariness, her folk-rock roots clearly showing. Though...


06/12/14    Albums

Billy's Back on Broadway
Billy Porter

Sammy Davis Jr. had been absent from the Great White Way for seven years when, in 1964, he began an extended run in the musical adaptation of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy . Trading on its success, Davis released Sammy’s Back on Broadway , a collection of then...


06/08/14    Albums

The Best of Venus, Volume 1
Nicki Parrott

While American-in-London Stacey Kent has become the toast of Western Europe, Australian-in-New-York Nicki Parrott has earned equally strong favor throughout the Far East. Their vocal similarity is unmistakable, almost eerie, both next-generation descendants...


06/03/14    Albums

Hooray for Love
Curtis Stigers

There are certain singers, mostly male, for whom increased asperity magnifies their appeal. Ray Charles tops the list, followed closely by Mark Murphy, Tony Bennett and Andy Bey. Curtis Stigers numbers among them too. But with Stigers, as with Steve Tyrell...


05/24/14    Albums

A Wish
Karen Oberlin/Sean Harkness

One of Manhattan’s most accomplished cabaret and off-Broadway performers, Karen Oberlin blends the supper-club sass of Ann Hampton Callaway with the pop purity of Doris Day. She has released three previous discs and made guest appearances on several multi...


05/19/14    Albums

Sean Sullivan

Amid all the well-deserved hoopla for Gregory Porter and Cécile McLorin Salvant, there’s another new(ish) vocalist, equally deserving of huzzahs, who remains too far under the radar. He is Sean Sullivan, a West Virginian of Cherokee and French descent, with...


05/14/14    Albums

Camera Obscura
Ran Blake/Sara Serpa

In her as-yet brief but prolific recording career, vocalist and composer Sara Serpa has balanced two stellar compatriots, alternating between duo projects with pianist Ran Blake and small combo sessions anchored by guitarist André Matos. The Lisbon-born...


05/12/14    Albums

New York Conversations
Kendra Shank & John Stowell

John Stowell was already well established as a jazz guitarist when, nearly 25 years ago, he met up-and-coming vocalist Kendra Shank in her hometown of Seattle. After Shank migrated east to New York, they began gigging as a duo. Until now, though, they’ve...


05/09/14    Albums

Bob Dorough

There are great jazz singers—Ella, Sarah, Billie, Mel—and then there are deceptively great jazz singers whose rare qualities require a more discerning ear: Fred Astaire, Chet Baker, Mose Allison, Dave Frishberg and, with his hypnotic cat-scratch twang, Bob...


05/06/14    Albums

No Sad Songs for Me
Carol Fredette

To find a theme for her latest album, veteran vocalist Carol Fredette needed only to look at her living room wall. There hangs a poster for the 1950 film No Sad Songs for Me starring Margaret Sullavan. Fredette and Sullavan seem kindred spirits: exceptionally...


05/01/14    Albums

Right Together
Lara Iacovini

Dynamic young vocalist and educator Lara Iacovini has released three previous albums, including a Chet Baker tribute and a clever combined nod to George Gershwin and Stevie Wonder, but Right Together is the first to gain traction outside her native Italy—largely...


04/25/14    Albums

Jazz Country
Amy Cervini

The title of Torontonian-in-Manhattan Amy Cervini’s fourth studio album can be interpreted two ways, with equal validity. Yes, Cervini, whose alto is as crisp and pure as a Canadian winter, does traverse a cross-section of country tunes including Hank Williams’...

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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.