Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

Littlesecret_span3

08/02/14    Albums

Little Secret
Nikki Yanofsky

When vocal phenom Nikki Yanofsky released her sophomore album four years ago, she was barely old enough to drive. Suddenly, the pert Montrealer is all grown up, striking a Dusty Springfield-esque pose on the cover of Little Secrets , clearly meant to prove...

Thelagosmusicsalon_span3

07/31/14    Albums

The Lagos Music Salon
Somi

Born in Illinois to parents from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi has always felt the pull of Africa. She has visited much of the continent, and in 2008 founded New Africa Live, dedicated to promoting global recognition of multidisciplinary African artists. The following...

Alotoflivingtodo_span3

07/27/14    Albums

A Lot of Livin' to Do
Nick Ziobro

Like a chapter straight out of Glee , Nick Ziobro was just a 16-year-old high school senior in upstate New York, singing in the student choir, when he decided to enter the 2012 Great American Songbook Vocal Competition, Michael Feinstein’s showcase for young...

Complicatedday_span3

07/22/14    Albums

Complicated Day
Roy Nathanson's Sotto Voce

Now and then it’s nice to be reminded that jazz can be bold and imaginative and still be fun. Complicated Day comes from the complicated mind of Roy Nathanson—saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, bandleader and charter member of Manhattan’s Downtown...

Cd_diane-schuur_span3

07/20/14    Albums

I Remember You
Diane Schuur

Diane Schuur is the Ethel Merman of jazz: a consummate professional who never misses her mark and knows precisely how to sell whatever she’s selling, with a big sound and a penchant for grand gestures. For Schuur’s latest, she is backed by an all-star ensemble—pianist...

Les_grant_cover_small_span3

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...

Cd_louis-prima-jr_span3

07/10/14    Albums

Blow
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...

Cd_jose-james_span3

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...

Cd_barb-jungr_span3

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...

Cd_jackie-allen_span3

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...

Cd_billy-porter_span3

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...

Cd_nicki-parrott_span3

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...

Cd_curtis-stigers_span3

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...

Cd_karen-oberlin_span3

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...

Cd_sean-sullivan_span3

05/19/14    Albums

Hereafter
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...

Blakeserpa_span3

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...

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About Christopher Loudon

Loudon_thumb

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.