Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

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01/20/14    Albums

West Coast Strings
Diane Hubka

Though born and raised on the East Coast, where she honed her skills under the tutelage of Anne Marie Moss, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Barry Harris, Howard Alden and Bill Bittner, singer-guitarist Diane Hubka has always exuded a more distinctly West Coast...

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01/16/14    Albums

PiANO
Tony DeSare

Two years in the making, vocalist-pianist Tony DeSare’s intriguing venture into sonic experimentation began soon after he took delivery of a Yahama Disklavier DC3 piano. Working on an arrangement of “You Give Love a Bad Name” in his apartment studio, DeSare...

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01/14/14    Features

Overdue Ovation: Singer Ed Reed

Straightened up and flying right

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01/12/14    Albums

Reincarnation
Mary LaRose

The ferocity of her explorations might suggest otherwise, but everything vocal innovator Mary LaRose does is carefully, meticulously calculated. The cover image for Reincarnation , with everything in sharp focus except LaRose herself, can be taken as a metaphor...

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01/08/14    Albums

Burstin' Out
Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Cyrille Aimee

If you follow jazz news, you’ve surely heard of Cyrille Aimée, the French-born chanteuse who took top honors at last year’s inaugural Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and got third place at the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals...

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01/05/14    Albums

Say it Isn't So
Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett

One of the most delightful collaborations in vocal jazz, that of Britain’s preeminent female vocalist Claire Martin and chameleonic British composer-arranger-pianist-sometime-vocalist Richard Rodney Bennett, ended with Bennett’s death last December at age...

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01/04/14    News

Diane Schuur to Preview New Album at Birdland

A double salute to Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra

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01/02/14    Gearhead

GearHead: Top Vocalists on Their Microphones of Choice

Kurt Elling, Kate McGarry and others weigh in on their favorites

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12/29/13    Albums

Absinthe & Vermouth
Fay Victor Ensemble

It’s difficult to imagine a better intoxicant than absinthe to describe fearless vocal abstractionist Fay Victor. The anise-flavored spirit gained favor in Paris in the early 20th century, among the sort of artistic iconoclasts—Wilde, Toulouse-Lautrec, Satie—who...

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12/27/13    Albums

Live to Love
Jacqui Dankworth

Though it is vocalist Jacqui Dankworth’s name above the title, her fifth album heralds the convergence of three of Britain’s foremost jazz practitioners, none of whom have gained nearly the Stateside attention they deserve. First is Dankworth herself, of...

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12/24/13    Albums

After Blue
Tierney Sutton

Timed to coincide with Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday, Tierney Sutton’s career-spanning homage has actually been marinating for more than a dozen years, ever since she heard Mitchell’s standards-focused Both Sides Now from 2000. It was, writes Sutton in her...

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12/20/13    Albums

Every Little Star
Abigail Riccards

Abigail Riccards has, across a decade-long career, mastered the increasingly endangered art of making less more. Her tone is crystalline, her phrasing crisp and her style lissome, its seeming effortlessness masking sharp interpretive skills. Think Doris...

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12/16/13    Albums

The Changing Lights
Stacey Kent

Six years ago, Stacey Kent strayed from the all-standards path with the multifarious Breakfast on the Morning Tram, taking her artistry to an exciting new level. Now, following detours for the all-French Raconte-moi and her first live album...

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12/08/13    Albums

Big Stuff: Afro Cuban Holiday
Venissa Santi

Many American jazz singers have explored Afro-Cuban grooves, though few with the authenticity of Venissa Santi. She began embracing her Cuban heritage while teaching at Philadelphia’s Asociacion de Musicos Latino Americanos, subsequently releasing the rumba...

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12/02/13    Albums

The Shadow of Your Smile
Roberta Gambarini

Between 2006 and 2009, Italian émigré Roberta Gambarini delivered a trio of albums that earned her widespread plaudits as the heir apparent to Ella or Sarah or both. Then … a deafening silence. A trickle of fresh Gambarini material did appear last year with...

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11/28/13    Albums

Nightsongs
Janis Siegel

Manhattan Transfer alto Janis Siegel’s first solo album in seven years is a valentine to interpretive artistry built around love songs old and new. Originally intended as a duets project with pianist John di Martino, NightSongs ultimately grew to include...

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About Christopher Loudon

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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.