Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions


08/26/15    Albums

Tony Cimorosi & Saundra Silliman

Saundra Silliman may be the best-kept secret in jazz. As both a vocalist and actress, she’s been gigging around New York since the mid-1980s and has performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Lonnie Plaxico. But apart from a few MP3s on her outdated...


08/20/15    Albums

Bessie: Music From the HBO Film
Various Artists

In May, when HBO premiered Bessie , starring a sharply cast Queen Latifah as blues legend and vocal-jazz pioneer Bessie Smith, the company ensured it was as truthful as it was entertaining. The same high standards extend to the soundtrack. Latifah dominates...


08/14/15    Albums

Vinicius Canta Antonio Carlos Jobim
Vinicius Cantuária

According to bestselling author, psychologist, neuroscientist and musician Daniel J. Levitin, we all start to construct our personal musical boundaries at age 14 and have firmly set those parameters by age 24. So, for Brazilian singer, songwriter, guitarist...


08/10/15    Albums

Dee Dee's Feathers
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

It takes a keen-eared, fluidly adaptive performer to capture both the breadth and subtleties that define New Orleans’ musical landscape. Dee Dee Bridgewater, though born in a far different music hotbed, Memphis, and raised in Michigan, is just such an artist...


08/06/15    Albums

But For Now
Bob Dorough Trio

Few are the artists of any ilk who can boast a career comparable to that of Bob Dorough—one that not only touches seven decades but remains fresh and vital throughout. He ranks among jazz’s most revered insiders, admired and respected as a songwriter, singer...


08/02/15    Albums

2 in Love
David Benoit Featuring Jane Monheit

When smooth-jazz pioneer David Benoit, whose dense piano style seems to have arrived at the curious intersection of Vince Guaraldi and Liberace, teams with Jane Monheit, still the plumiest of jazz singers, the proceedings can get a little overripe. Though...


07/27/15    Albums

Passion World
Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling’s latest, his second with bassist Clark Sommers, drummer Kendrick Scott and guitarist John McLean, is also his first without pianist and arranger Laurence Hobgood. (Keyboardist Gary Versace now completes the ace quintet.) It’s a momentous turning...


07/22/15    Albums

Kitano Noir
Sara Serpa & Ran Blake

Apart from his landmark work with Jeanne Lee in the 1950s and early ’60s (and their brief but sublime reunion in the late ’80s), pianist Ran Blake has devoted little attention to vocalists. Until, that is, the current decade, as the Third Stream pioneer...


07/17/15    Albums

Currency of Man
Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot takes a couple of steps back and a couple forward with Currency of Man . The first retreating move, a most wise one, sees her reunited with producer Larry Klein, who steered 2009’s My One and Only Thrill to multi-platinum acclaim. Also, with...


07/09/15    Albums

Bathtub Gin
Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band

With her singularly enticing sound, equal parts Maria Muldaur mewl and breezy Blossom Dearie trill, few contemporary vocalists are as well suited to dustily vintage material as jazz-blues stylist Roberta Donnay. She affectively proved so three years ago...

07/01/15    Albums

Albums — June 2015

What began as a casual introduction at a rehearsal for a Grateful Dead tribute orchestra has blossomed into a fine pop-jazz partnership, and it only took two decades. The band was Joe Gallant’s Illuminati and, throughout their shared three-year stint in...


06/23/15    Albums

Feelin' Good
Mary Stallings

Navigating one of the greatest second acts in vocal-jazz history, San Francisco’s Mary Stallings burned bright in the ’60s, then disappeared for over a decade before triumphantly resurfacing in the ’80s. Five years ago she arrived at HighNote, where she’s...


06/19/15    Albums

Swings the Penthouse
Ernestine Anderson

While Ernestine Anderson can, at 86, claim a recording career that spans six decades, there is a sizable hole stretching from 1963 to 1976. Anderson’s work pre- and post-gap sounds markedly different. By the time of her professional resuscitation by Concord...


06/17/15    Albums

Blue Camus
Ben Sidran

Great jazz, true jazz, is in the ears of the interpreter, whether player or listener. So Ben Sidran is fair in arguing that jazz and existentialism are kindred forces. On his website, the vocalist, keyboardist and songwriter acknowledges his previous album...


06/13/15    Albums

Out of My Dreams
Joanne Tatham

Peter Erskine’s sparkling drum solo, ushering in the breezy McCoy Tyner-Sammy Cahn confection “You Taught My Heart to Sing,” seems a perfect introduction to vocalist Joanne Tatham. Blessed with impeccable phrasing and a meticulous sense of time, Tatham projects...


06/10/15    Albums

A Clear Midnight: Kurt Weill and America
Julia Hulsmann Quartet with Theo Bleckmann

Whether Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong, one of those names leaps immediately to mind at the mention of “Mack the Knife.” All of their versions are distinctly great, yet none is even remotely sinister, which is odd for a song about a remorseless...

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About Christopher Loudon