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Vocal Standards/Crooners/Sinatra-esque Recommendations?

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Vocal Standards/Crooners/Sinatra-esque Recommendations?

Old 03-10-03, 02:27 PM
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Vocal Standards/Crooners/Sinatra-esque Recommendations?

I don't even know the technical name for this genre of music, aside from the horribly broad and misleading categories of "pop" or "easy listening." I think it's technically called "Vocal Standards" or maybe closer to "Jazz Standards," but I've always called it "Post Big Band Jazz Crooning." Whatever the hell you want to call it, I'm talking about the golden age of cool and those who still spread the word.

Recently there have been some Intro to Sinatra threads, but I'd like to go deeper. Frank, Dean, Sammy, Tony, Jimmy ... even Louis, Duke, Ella, whoever ... others must have some albums (or even just tracks) that they just love to listen to and may not be very well-known. I'd love to hear what those might be, and either share the enjoyment or open myself up to new stuff.

I guess I'll start off as I just finished listening to a favorite of mine, Frank Sinatra and Sextet - Live in Paris, a wonderful live recording that captures both Frank's warmth and energy while he was still at the top of his game.

I also rediscovered a fondness for Tony Bennett - MTV Unplugged when I picked up a copy for my new SACD player. I'm not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I can definitely hear an increase in quality for this recording, and it sounds simply amazing echoing through my room.

I listen to a pretty wide array of music, but this style may be my favorite, and yet it gets the least discussion. I could recommend another 50 albums for various reasons, but there's no point over-saturating the thread. Anyone have some suggestions of their own?

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Last edited by das Monkey; 03-10-03 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 03-12-03, 02:57 PM
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I should have known better than to start this thread in Music Talk.

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Old 03-12-03, 03:56 PM
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OK, let me restore your faith in the Music board.

I'll concentrate on a few more contemporary artists that are in that genre. One of the best known is Diana Krall. Most of her albums are jazz/pop standards; however, it took me awhile to get used to her rather low and, in my opinion, weak vocals. It definitly is a style to get used to. Technically, not a great singer, but I always enjoy here selection of music (much like I appreciated Sinatras).

Another that is one of my current favorites is Jane Monheitt. Technically an excellent singer who is somewhere in between jazz and an almost broadway style. She tends to go a little deeper into the jazz catalog (i.e. Waters of March by Jobim) although there are also "standards" on the albums.

I've always been a huge fan of the Manhattan Transfer and I also have always felt that the strongest of the four is Janis Siegel. She has a number of solo albums. Big, powerful voice that can handle pop or jazz.

On the male side, the pickings are a bit thinner. There seems to be a predisposition to females in pop/jazz at the moment. Two that I personally like are Curtis Steigers and Steve Tyrell. Both have a very raspy quality to their voices, but they can put it across. Of the two, I like Steigers better...he's more of an artist. Tyrell kind of fell into it, I think, by recording standards for movie soundtracks like Sleepless in Seattle.

Don't know if that helps at all. Tastes vary, especially in this genre, so I'd recommend checking them out on-line or at your library.
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Old 03-12-03, 07:13 PM
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I would have to assume that you have listened to Harry Connick Jr. To me, he is one of the last doing this type of music, and he does it very well. I love Frank and Dean, but never got into Tony. Perry Como has some good ones, and of course Mel Torme if you like the jazzier stuff.
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Old 03-18-03, 10:44 PM
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Anyone else?
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Old 03-18-03, 11:11 PM
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It's a void, man.

Thanks for the responses.

Brak, I think your tastes are a litte more jazzy than mine, but I still like your recommendations. I've been waiting for my Diana Krall Look of Love SACD for what seems like forever. It's supposed to come free with my SACD player, but I'm sure you know how long those "send for free blah blah blah" promos take. You mentioned Jobim which reminds me of my Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim CD that kicks some serious ass.

I know of but am not overly familiar with the other artists you mentioned. Would you care to recommend some specific albums?

kvrdave, yeah, I like Jr. As for Tony, I've never really gotten into him either, but that MTV album works for me for some reason. A lot of his early stuff is too "high" for me (Rags to Riches, Because of You, etc), but he's recorded so many albums that I've been able to find a number of his performances that I really love.

From a sentimental perspective, I have to mention Mr. James Darren (Vic Damone on Deep Space Nine). I've met him a few times and seen him in concert, and it was a great experience. While he's no Frank, I really enjoyed his album This One's From the Heart. It was released as a "thank you" to all the Deep Space Nine fans who were so supportive of him, and it's a great sampling of big band and pop standards. It was successful enough that he also released Because of You a few years later. It digs a little deeper into the standard catalog, which is nice, and I really enjoy it as well.

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Old 03-18-03, 11:24 PM
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Jane Monheit - Come Dream with Me (her second album)
Janis Siegel - The Tender Trap

Steve Tyrell is pretty straight forward like a Sinatra or Connick. He has two albums out (both with Standard in the name, but I can't remember the exact names).

I'm not a fan of downloading to burn albums, but I do think it has it's place to try out a track or two. If you have one of the services, try a couple of tracks and see if they fit your tastes.

By the way, I don't know how much you're into Sinatra, but his 50's stuff on Capital (with Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins) are some of my all time favorite recordings.
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Old 03-18-03, 11:39 PM
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I'm pretty big into Sinatra. I'd have to count, but I'd say I'm coming close to 100 discs. I agree though ... his work with Riddle and Jenkins on Capital is my favorite stuff. People often recommend "The Very Good Years" as the definitive Sinatra disc, and I'm always quick to jump in and try to sway them towards a Capital disc instead.

As for downloading, I download a LOT, but I buy what I like. It's a great way to sample stuff if you're honest about it. I can't tell you how many CDs I've purchased in direct response to downloading something that looked interesting, and consequently I don't buy complaints of revenue loss (except for the upper 1/100th of 1 percent of artists overly saturated artists). I fully intend to exercise my DSL to learn more about your suggestions.

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Old 03-19-03, 02:13 PM
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There's covers of You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You and New York New York available to download from lewistaylormusic.com
He's my favourite singer/songwriter, and he absolutely tears up NYNY.
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Old 03-19-03, 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey

From a sentimental perspective, I have to mention Mr. James Darren (Vic Damone on Deep Space Nine). I've met him a few times and seen him in concert, and it was a great experience. While he's no Frank, I really enjoyed his album This One's From the Heart. It was released as a "thank you" to all the Deep Space Nine fans who were so supportive of him, and it's a great sampling of big band and pop standards. It was successful enough that he also released Because of You a few years later. It digs a little deeper into the standard catalog, which is nice, and I really enjoy it as well.
Oh man Absolutely. Can't believe it slipped my mind.

Another that I have started to enjoy (though I definately have to be in the right mood) is Robert Goulet.
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Old 03-19-03, 02:40 PM
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Check out Johnny Mathis or Elvis Costello.
Maybe Tom Waits.
I'm not sure if this answers your question. I just like their singing.
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Old 03-19-03, 03:23 PM
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And don't forget Nat King Cole, lot's of great stuff.

I also enjoy Capital's compilation discs focusing on a standards songwriter and featuring various artist's.
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Old 03-20-03, 10:12 PM
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Although my tastes do tend to run more toward the alternative and electronica - i do like quite a bit of jazz and vocalists. All of the female vocalists that are listed here are great. I praticularly like Jane Monheit - she is sensational- I have seen her twice in the past year or so - what a treasure - she reminds me at times of Nina Simone who is also wonderful. You cant go wrong with Ninas hauntingly passionate singing - it belies so much wisdom and pain. I was particularly taken by Karryn Allison's recent effort - a tribute to John Coltrane - i also like her new blues cd that is currently out. You may also want to try Shirley Horn - one of my favorites is her mid 90s cd - back to life. Also Rachelle Ferrell and Cassandra Wilson - both have new cds out. With regard to the guys - two new comers to the scene are Peter Cincotti and Michael Buble - both crooners. I came across these while listening to tunes on amazon.com. They may be more to your liking - in the tradition of sinatra. And I also like Jimmy Scott who recalls billy holiday.
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Old 03-21-03, 01:24 AM
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Richard Hawley

Check out a fellow named Richard Hawley. He has one album out in the U.S. and three in England. While he doesn't cover the standards, he's the best example of a "modern day" crooner that's not just covering old ground. Imagine if one of the great crooners was starting out today, playing a guitar and writing his own songs. Excellent stuff.
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Old 03-21-03, 09:26 AM
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Playing a guitar? How does he hold his whiskey then?

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Old 05-15-03, 11:45 AM
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I mentioned this on the Rat Pack thread, but I'm very, very pleased with

Robbie Williams - Swing When You're Winning.

Lotta covers from the Rat Pack, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, etc. It's a solid album that definitely gets an "A" from me.
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Old 05-15-03, 12:57 PM
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My favorite Crooner is the Polish Prince, BOBBY VINTON. Still love his stuff.
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Old 05-15-03, 01:16 PM
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You can't go wrong w/ Michael Feinstein (although he's more known for Broadway).
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Old 05-15-03, 04:56 PM
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It's all you need, trust me. One of the best boxed sets ever.
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