Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

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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...

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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...

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01/02/15    Before & After

Before & After with New York Voices

Listening with vocal-jazz survivors

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12/30/14    Albums

Spark
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...

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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...

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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...

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12/19/14    Albums

Talisman
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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12/15/14    Albums

In the Mood
Herb Alpert

Among the 14 selections that fill Herb Alpert’s latest, his 38th career album, the Glenn Miller-associated title tune is not included. Which begs an obvious question: In the mood for what? Love? Nostalgia? Patriotism? The correct answer is all of the above...

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12/14/14    Albums

Cheek to Cheek
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

When Tony Bennett released Duets II in 2011, the lion’s share of praise focused on his teaming with the late Amy Winehouse on “Body and Soul.” But the album’s true highpoint was Bennett’s joyous romp across “The Lady Is a Tramp” alongside Lady Gaga. So it...

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12/13/14    Albums

I Like Men
Rebecca Kilgore

The concept, a female singer paying album-length homage to the male of the species, is hardly new. That well-worn path has been trod by Peggy Lee, Julie London and countless others. But Rebecca Kilgore manages, in her deceptively effortless way, to make...

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12/06/14    Albums

Nostalgia
Annie Lennox

Though he doesn’t appear on Nostalgia , Herbie Hancock deserves partial credit for its inspiration. Back in 2012, Lennox was rehearsing with Hancock for a concert presented in Washington as part of the United Nations’ Global AIDS Conference. It was the first...

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12/05/14    Albums

Tudo
Bebel Gilberto

Though her lineage is Brazilian jazz royalty, Bebel Gilberto has long seemed more Miami than Rio, favoring electronica-tinged, get-the-party-started dance tracks. Perhaps, though, as the remarkably youthful Gilberto nears 50, she’s decided it’s time to abandon...

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12/02/14    Albums

The Sun Season
Dara Tucker

Dara Tucker’s voice is like warm caramel, sweet and soulful. It’s a voice that would feel right at home at Motown circa 1966 or in a touring production of Dreamgirls . Three years have passed since Tucker’s last disc, and she’s spent much of that time writing...

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11/30/14    Albums

Time & Place
Claire Martin

In late 2012, Claire Martin lost both a dear friend and a superb collaborator with the passing of pianist, vocalist and composer Richard Rodney Bennett. Their Say It Isn’t So was released shortly thereafter, and the ghost of Bennett still lingers over Time...

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11/29/14    Features

"The Brazil Connection": Of Rio & Reinvention

Classic vocal tracks meet fresh Brazilian-styled arrangements

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11/29/14    Albums

Intimate Conversations
Dee Daniels

Last year’s aptly titled State of the Art teamed Dee Daniels with an ace quartet anchored by pianist Cyrus Chestnut. For Daniels’ encore, her 10th studio album as leader, Chestnut is again onboard, but as one in a spectrum of stellar guests. As its name...

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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.