Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions


10/27/13    Albums

A Thousand Julys
Kristin Slipp & Dov Manski

What vocalist Kristin Slipp and keyboardist Dov Manski get up to on A Thousand Julys is a sin; at least that’s how traditionalists will view these unorthodox treatments of Tin Pan Alley chestnuts. Truth is, the two New England Conservatory grads are co-conspirators...


10/24/13    Albums

Cole en Espanol
Natalie Cole

By 1958, Nat King Cole’s global popularity had grown so massive that Capitol encouraged him to record an album entirely in Spanish. Despite his painfully awkward, phonetically learned vocals, Cole Español proved an enormous success, so much so that two well...


10/21/13    Albums

West Coast Cool
Mark Winkler & Cheryl Bentyne

Ten years ago, a JazzTimes review of Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup inspired Winkler to write “Cool,” a snappy salute to hipster sangfroid that, performed in duet with the Manhattan Transfer’s Cheryl Bentyne, appeared on his 2009 release, Till I Get It Right...


10/13/13    Albums

Dear Abbey: The Music of Abbey Lincoln
Teri Roiger

Newcomers to vocalist Teri Roiger might, quite fairly, presume she is attempting to mimic Abbey Lincoln across this tribute album’s 13 tracks. But the vocal resemblance is no put-on: Roiger’s phrasing—which, in turn, demonstrates how big a debt Lincoln’s...


10/11/13    Albums

Dead Divas Society
Jacqui Naylor

When preparing her previous release, Lucky Girl , Jacqui Naylor invited 90 friends and fans to listen to 25 selections and vote on each, ultimately recording the top 15 tunes. Such democracy continues with Dead Divas Society , though less formally. As the...


10/09/13    Features

Young at Art

Female jazz prodigies, then and now


10/08/13    Albums

Lorraine Feather

For pretty much as long as Lorraine Feather has been writing and recording her own tunes, it has become de rigueur to expect wildly careening wordplay that often favors whimsical, fanciful or macabre allusions. Now, as she focuses her attention on relationships...


10/05/13    Albums

But Beautiful
Mary Stallings

Though two decades have passed since Mary Stallings’ dynamic emergence from an equally long semi-retirement, she remains an undervalued treasure. Perhaps it’s because her musicianship is so seamless, her vocal agility so seemingly effortless, that the tremendousness...


09/27/13    Albums

Jamie Cullum

Though jazz fans will surely lament its unapologetic pop leanings, Jamie Cullum’s latest, his sixth, is as good a collection of dance-floor-friendly fare as you’re likely to hear this year. The former Brit wunderkind is now the father of two and has inched...


09/23/13    Albums

Stepping Out
Anthony Strong

As Jamie Cullum inches ever closer to pop’s mainstream and Michael Bublé trades up to bigger and bigger showings of bombast, along comes pianist and vocalist Anthony Strong, a ball of energy who seems to combine the best of both. Already touted as the next...


09/20/13    Features

Carline Ray: "This Needs To Be Done"

Prior to her passing at 88, the great bassist/vocalist finally got her due


09/19/13    Albums

I Love Being Here With You
Judy Carmichael

Known as one of the best stride and swing pianists around, Judy Carmichael is near-equally renowned for her lively, intelligent radio show, Jazz Inspired . (Full disclosure: Transcriptions of conversations from that show are available at


09/15/13    Albums

One Step Away
JD Walter

Among vocal-jazz adventurers, none—not Bleckmann, not Elling, not even Murphy—can rival the outré audacity of JD Walter. As is often the case with startling originals who defy easy classification, the Pennsylvania-born Walter is far better known throughout...


09/06/13    Albums

The World According to Andy Bey
Andy Bey

For a while it seemed Andy Bey had disappeared altogether. But six years since the fine Ain’t Necessarily So , Bey is back, albeit in a whisper-quiet way. Bey’s magnificent, blues-soaked baritone remains in remarkably good shape, his interpretative poignancy...


09/05/13    Albums

Youn Sun Nah

On the gently optimistic “New Dawn,” one of a half-dozen original compositions Youn Sun Nah includes on her eighth album, she softly sings of flowers waiting to bloom. Those unfamiliar with the South Korean vocalist, particularly with her emergence as an...


08/29/13    Albums

The Mystery of You
Spencer Day

With the 2009 release of his third disc, Vagabond , baritone Spencer Day finally found his groove, seeming an all-American answer to Brit wunderkind Jamie Cullum. Now, four years on, the fresh-faced Utahn has entered his mid-30s and adopted a more grown...

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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.