Christopher Loudon

Christopher’s Contributions

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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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11/27/14    Albums

Clarity: Music of Clare Fischer
Roseanna Vitro

Herbie Hancock once declared, “I wouldn’t be me without Clare Fischer.” Indeed, the esteemed composer, keyboardist, arranger and bandleader, a true harmonic polyglot, who died in 2012 at the age of 83, influenced a remarkable spectrum of performers, starting...

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11/22/14    Albums

Historia
Cindy Scott

New Orleans’ Cindy Scott launched her recording career in 2002 with a relatively safe, entirely respectable platter of standards. Seven years later, she upped her game with a looser, more assured and far more musically adventurous sophomore disc. Historia...

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11/20/14    Albums

Singing the Blues
Freddy Cole

Freddy Cole’s latest HighNote release, his eighth in 10 years, is a sort of 50th anniversary gift to himself, and to his listeners. In 1964, Cole made his LP debut with a fine, blues-tinged collection called Waiter, Ask the Man to Play the Blues . It should...

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11/16/14    Albums

Soul to Soul
Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy’s 14th album marks the culmination of a musical journey that began more than a year ago in her home studio. While composing (or co-composing) 11 of the 13 tracks and writing all of the arrangements, Lundy established the feel of each tune by...

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11/14/14    Albums

Free Souls
Nicola Conte

Italian producer and guitarist Nicola Conte first gained recognition for his cunning re-imaginings of acid jazz via influences from bossa nova, classic Italian film scores and Indian music. More recently, he’s focused solely on Latin jazz. With Free Souls...

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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.