7/23/08

Quirky Cool Jazz Ladies

Everybody knows of Diana Krall, the hugely successful jazz singer-pianist that burst onto the scene in the mid-90s. I admit to being a fan, owning a few of her CDs and enjoying her elegant style.

But today we are looking elsewhere – it’s time to stretch our female jazz singer boundaries…

Both of these ladies have slightly unusual styles, but still manage to maintain the classic jazz sensibilities. Hard-core jazz aficionados and audiophiles are likely already among their fans, as these musicians tend to have a well recorded product to go along with their musical talents.

Canadian born Holly Cole recorded her first disc in 1989 along with bassist David Piltch and pianist Aaron Davis. The trio has gone on to release several CDs, jazzing up several genres including rock, country and show tunes. Her seminal work was 1995’s Temptation, based entirely on the songs of Tom Waits. This CD is longtime Connoisseur favorite and I highly recommended it as a great place to start if you want to hear some of Holly’s best work. Her current release, the self-titled Holly Cole, is garnering wide critical acclaim.

A few steps south of Canada, Chicago is home to Patricia Barber. Patricia grew up in a musical environment as both her parents were professional musicians. Her first CD, Split, was also released in 1989, which she has followed up with several excellent works. My recommendation for a starter would be Nightclub, an album of standards delivered in her own unique vocal and piano playing style.

There you have it, music fans. Fire up that stereo or mp3 player and try some quirky cool jazz…

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