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Peter Cincotti: Sunshine Daze

With a new album, a role in Kevin Spacey’s new film, good looks and natural talent, Peter Cincotti is heading into Harry Connick Jr. land. Christopher Loudon tracks this 21-year-old’s rise to stardom.

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Linda Ronstadt: Hummin’ to Myself

Linda Ronstadt is no jazz singer. Nor has she ever professed or pretended to be. Ronstadt caught considerable critical heat a decade ago when she waded into the Great American Songbook with that trio of orchestral collections recorded with Nelson Riddle, and is sure to again earn grief for this gorgeously intimate collection of standards … Read More “Linda Ronstadt: Hummin’ to Myself”

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Gabriela Anders

Growing up in one of Buenos Aires’ most musical households, under the tutelage of her celebrated saxophonist father, Jorge, vocalist/guitarist Gabriela Anders figures she was the only kid in school who knew who Miles Davis was. “All my friends would be listening to whatever pop or rock bands were popular at the time,” she recalls … Read More “Gabriela Anders”

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Peter Cincotti: On the Moon

At this point in his still very young career, Peter Cincotti is rather like the Elvis to Jamie Cullum’s Beatles. Among the current spate of post-Connick crooners, an impressive crowd that also includes Ian Shaw and Matt Dusk, the 21-year-old New Yorker was the obvious frontrunner until Cullum’s one-man British invasion created a media storm … Read More “Peter Cincotti: On the Moon”

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Nana Mouskouri: Nana Mouskouri in New York

What a difference four decades, a superb producer and a savvy sound engineer make. Greek superstar Nana Mouskouri was already a well-established, multilingual success across most of continental Europe when, in 1962, Mercury invited her to New York to record her first full-length foray into American standards. The objective was clear: to see if Mouskouri’s … Read More “Nana Mouskouri: Nana Mouskouri in New York”

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Nancy Wilson: How Glad We Are for the Grace of…

She’s been successful at jazz, pop, R&B, television and radio, but Nancy Wilson is sometimes dismissed as an artist because of her commercial appeal. But at 67, and with the new R.S.V.P. album on the shelves,Wilson is content with her place in the music world. Christopher Loudon tracks her success-and states her case as being one of the all-time singers.

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Jamie Cullum: The Boy of Summer

He’s the boy wonder of jazz at the moment, but, unlike so many buzz-generating young artists, the 24-year-old Englishman Jamie Cullum has all the skills and charm to be around for a long, long time. The pianist-vocalist’s U.S. debut, Twentysomething (Verve), is already earning big sales and even bigger raves-even from the cynics. Christopher Loudon reports.

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Claudia Acuna: Luna

It seems Claudia Acuna took the long way to St. Louis. After nearly a decade in the U.S. and a pair of widely praised albums for Verve, the South American singer has landed at Missouri-based MaxJazz and delivered the intoxicatingly beautiful Luna. Ironically, her Midwestern sojourn for her third disc as leader seems to have … Read More “Claudia Acuna: Luna”

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Norah Jones: Feels Like Home

When Norah Jones’ wildly anticipated Feels Like Home debuted atop the pop charts and set first week sales records, I heard a wonderfully curious comment about the album on a local Toronto news station. With seemingly no sense of irony, the reviewer enthused, “The celebrated jazz singer delivers another excellent selection of pop and country … Read More “Norah Jones: Feels Like Home”

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Diana Krall: This Year’s Model

She has a new sound, a new album and new husband, but one thing hasn’t changed: Diana Krall is the biggest superstar in jazz. Christopher Loudon gets the inside scoop on Krall’s new approach to songwriting, her tellingly named The Girl in the Other Room CD and the love of her life, Elvis Costello.

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Tierney Sutton: Dancing in the Dark

Popular myth suggests that Eskimo languages include an indeterminate number-ranging anywhere from nine to several hundred-of words for “snow.” Likewise, it’s all but impossible to determine precisely how many variations on “cool” can be applied to jazz and pop-jazz singers. There’s the laid-back cool of Dean Martin; the hipster cool of Mark Murphy; the somnambulistic … Read More “Tierney Sutton: Dancing in the Dark”

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Nnenna Freelon: Live

I was barely a year old when Anita O’Day, Louis Armstrong, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk and a dozen others warmed up a Newport summer day; three when Judy Garland scored the comeback of the century at Carnegie Hall; seven when Ella swung through Juan-les-Pins; nine when Sinatra teamed with Basie at the Sands. But because … Read More “Nnenna Freelon: Live”

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Curtis Stigers: Curtis Plays Around

Why are there so few truly gifted male jazz singers on the scene today? We’re not sure, but Christopher Loudon reports on one who has entered that rarified air with his latest CD, You Inspire Me.

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Charene Dawn: Dark Angel

Her passion for jazz ignited by an impromptu session with Sonny Stitt, Charene Dawn has spent most of the past decade earning her musical oats alongside the likes of George Benson, Cyrus Chestnut and Chaka Khan. Now, the Chicago-born chanteuse is stepping out on her own with the multihued Dark Angel. As debut albums go, … Read More “Charene Dawn: Dark Angel”

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Tony Bennett/K.D. Lang: A Wonderful World

As musical marriages go, it’s hard to fathom an odder couple-or a more enchanting one. Fresh from a continent-wide tour, the king of laidback cool and the twangy Canadian chanteuse combine for a sublime salute to Louis Armstrong. With orchestrater Peter Matz setting a mood as soft and inviting as autumn twilight, producer T Bone … Read More “Tony Bennett/K.D. Lang: A Wonderful World”

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Karrin Allyson: In Blue

As jazz career arcs go, few have been as progressively satisfying as Karrin Allyson’s. Building, slowly and methodically, from the raw promise of her 1992 debut, I Didn’t Know About You, to the cross-cultural dynamism of 1999’s From Paris to Rio, Allyson has grown bolder, braver and more easily experimental with each new step. Last … Read More “Karrin Allyson: In Blue”

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Patricia Barber: Verse

It’s hard to imagine a more striking study in musical contrasts than Patricia Barber and Natalie Cole. Both are singularly skilled at what they do, and both, I’ll safely bet, respect and, to a certain degree, envy the other’s professional capabilities. The essential difference is that Barber is an artist, Cole an entertainer. As such, … Read More “Patricia Barber: Verse”

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Philip Bailey: Soul on Jazz

This new solo effort from Earth, Wind and Fire’s estimable frontman should really be called Soul on the Periphery of Jazz. Like a martini so dry that the vermouth is barely detectable, Bailey’s latest is pure soul infused with just a hint of jazz. He is, indeed, about as much a jazz singer as Diana … Read More “Philip Bailey: Soul on Jazz”

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Susana Baca: Espiritu Vivo

If, as she insists, Susana Baca’s goal is to rescue Afro-Peruvian music from the brink of extinction and bring the exuberant rhythms of her youth and culture to a global audience, she’s doing a damn fine job of it. As world-music pioneers go, Baca now rivals Brazil’s Virginia Rodrigues, Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora and the … Read More “Susana Baca: Espiritu Vivo”

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Mose Allison: The Mose Chronicles: Live in London, Volume 2

Two years ago, the incomparable Mose Allison decided, at age 72, that it was time to give himself a well-earned salute. So, he hitched his way to London (where Mosemania has remained rampant since the mid-’60s), settled in at Soho’s Pizza Express in Jan. 2000 and made some history. Assembled over the course of three … Read More “Mose Allison: The Mose Chronicles: Live in London, Volume 2”

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Patti Austin: For Ella

I can understand singers crafting tributes to songwriters. For instance, I can’t imagine a vocal-jazz collection without Anita O’Day and Billy May Swing Rodgers and Hart or Rosemary Clooney’s Blue Rose or the various Ella Fitzgerald songbooks. But I find it harder to comprehend why singers pay tribute to other singers. Oh sure, I appreciate … Read More “Patti Austin: For Ella”

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Andy Bey: Tuesdays in Chinatown

It just isn’t fair. While lesser mortals churn out album after album with stupefying alacrity, Andy Bey fans are continually left in a state of restless anticipation. First there was that interminable drought preceding the release of 1996’s sublime Ballads, Blues & Bey, then two more years of silence before the arrival of the equally … Read More “Andy Bey: Tuesdays in Chinatown”

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Laverne Butler: A Foolish Thing to Do

It’s both exciting and satisfying to hear a fledgling artist find her voice. When LaVerne Butler made her MaxJazz debut two years ago with Blues in the City, it suggested a promise unfulfilled. Blessed with a lovely voice and a technician’s musical savvy, Butler clearly had a head for jazz. That knowledge and skill still … Read More “Laverne Butler: A Foolish Thing to Do”

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Kurt Elling: Flirting With Twilight

With Flirting With Twilight, his most assured and accomplished album to date, Kurt Elling continues his triumphant reign as the thinking man’s jazz vocalist. Focusing almost exclusively on standards, the erudite Chicagoan can polish even the most well-worn chestnut to a brilliant shine. Like Mark Murphy, against whom Elling is often measured, he is blessed … Read More “Kurt Elling: Flirting With Twilight”

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