NPR Discover Songs: The New Jazz Divas (Shout Factory, 2009)
NPR’s Discover Songs: The New Jazz Divas takes a look at the most popular contemporary female jazz artists. While some singers go in a neotraditionalist direction, other vocalists incorporate elements of contemporary jazz, soul, blues and even world music.
Madeleine Peyroux, born in Athens (Georgia) is one of the gems included in this compilation. Her vocal style is sensational and she belongs with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the greatest voices in jazz. In fact her voice sounds remarkably similar to Billie Holiday’s.
Another great discovery in this recording is Esperanza Spalding. Her family roots are Hispanic, African American, Native American and Welsh. Esperanza has a special interest in Brazilian music and her powerful piece ‘I Adore You,’ is a brilliant mix of contemporary jazz and Afro-Brazilian beats.
Other highlights include the captivating bluesy work of Lizz Wright and U.S.-based Brazilian singer and keyboardist Eliane Elias, who occasionally ventures into global sounds. The piece featured here by Elias takes the legendary Bob Marley song ‘Jammin” and transforms it into a global jazz piece by blending the original reggae beats with contemporary jazz and Brazilian sounds.
The rest of the artists included are the popular Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Ledesi, Patricia Barber, Melody Gardot, The Tierney Sutton Band, Karrin Allyson, Jane Monheit, René Marie, and Catherine Russell.
NPR Discover Songs: The New Jazz Divas features some of the most talented female jazz artists in recent times.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.