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Jazz music has been a genre that has enthralled music lovers for over a century. Jazz vocalists have been at the forefront of this art form, offering their unique interpretations and improvisations to classic jazz tunes. From the early blues and swing eras to the contemporary jazz scene, vocalists have always been a significant part of the jazz world. The jazz vocalists’ ability to communicate emotions and tell stories through their singing has made them an integral part of jazz music’s evolution. With so many talented singers throughout history, it can be challenging to determine who are the top jazz vocalists of all time. That’s why we have compiled a comprehensive list of the Top 100 Best Jazz Vocalists, based on their vocal range, phrasing, interpretation, and overall contribution to jazz music. The list features iconic jazz vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan, as well as contemporary singers like Diana Krall, Gregory Porter, and Esperanza Spalding. Whether you’re a long-time jazz enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, this list will introduce you to the finest jazz vocalists and their timeless music.
1. Ella Fitzgerald
Song number 1 on the list is by the legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Her version of “How High the Moon” is a classic jazz standard that has become a defining moment in her illustrious career. Fitzgerald’s remarkable range and scat singing skills are on full display in this upbeat swing tune. The song features a playful call-and-response between Fitzgerald’s vocals and the accompanying instruments, showcasing her unique ability to improvise and create a vibrant musical conversation. “How High the Moon” remains a beloved jazz classic and a testament to Fitzgerald’s unparalleled talent and influence in the world of music.
2. Sarah Vaughan
Song number 2 is performed by another legendary jazz vocalist, Sarah Vaughan. “Misty” is a romantic ballad that has become one of Vaughan’s signature songs. Her smooth and sultry vocals, coupled with the elegant piano and orchestral accompaniment, create an intimate and dreamy atmosphere that perfectly captures the song’s longing lyrics. Vaughan’s effortless control of her voice and her ability to infuse emotion into every note make “Misty” a timeless classic. This song has been covered by many other artists over the years, but Vaughan’s interpretation remains the definitive version and a testament to her enduring legacy as a jazz icon.
3. Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child” is a powerful and emotional anthem about the struggles of growing up poor and the importance of self-reliance. Holiday’s raspy, soulful voice conveys both pain and determination as she sings the iconic lyrics “them that’s got shall get, them that’s not shall lose.” The song’s bluesy melody and gospel-inspired harmonies provide a perfect backdrop to Holiday’s poignant delivery. “God Bless the Child” is considered one of Holiday’s greatest and most iconic performances, and it continues to resonate with audiences today as a timeless message of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.
4. Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole’s “Paper Moon” is a classic and timeless love song that has captured the hearts of listeners for generations. The smooth and soothing tone of Cole’s voice blends perfectly with the simple and elegant melody of the song. The lyrics, which describe a world of make-believe where love can conquer all, are both romantic and playful. The song’s gentle rhythm and Cole’s warm vocals create a feeling of comfort and security, making it the perfect choice for a slow dance or a quiet evening at home. “Paper Moon” is a masterpiece of romantic balladry and remains one of Nat King Cole’s most beloved songs.
5. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” is a timeless classic that showcases the iconic singer’s talent for interpreting love songs. The song features a swinging big-band arrangement, with Sinatra’s smooth voice gliding effortlessly over the lush instrumentation. The lyrics, which describe the feeling of being so in love that one cannot escape their partner’s grasp, are both romantic and captivating. Sinatra’s performance is filled with passion and intensity, making the song an unforgettable experience for listeners. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” is a quintessential Sinatra track that continues to delight and inspire audiences around the world.
6. Nina Simone
Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” is an empowering and soulful anthem that has become a timeless classic. The song’s uplifting melody and powerful lyrics express a message of hope and liberation, inspiring listeners to embrace their true selves and live life to the fullest. Simone’s voice is both powerful and emotive, conveying a range of emotions from joy to empowerment to determination. With its memorable hook, powerful message, and unforgettable performance, “Feeling Good” has become an iconic song that continues to inspire and uplift listeners of all ages.
7. Dinah Washington
Dinah Washington’s “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” is a beautiful and emotive ballad that has stood the test of time. The song’s lush arrangement and Washington’s soulful vocals make for a powerful combination, conveying a sense of longing and hope that is both moving and inspiring. With its timeless melody and heartfelt lyrics, “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” has become an enduring classic, captivating audiences for generations with its message of love and resilience in the face of life’s ups and downs. Washington’s timeless performance has made this song an essential part of any jazz lover’s collection.
8. Louis Armstrong
“Hello Dolly” is a jazz standard originally recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1963. The song is one of Armstrong’s most popular recordings, and it features his signature scat singing and improvisation. The song tells the story of a man who is in love with a woman named Dolly, and it features lyrics that are playful and romantic. Armstrong’s rendition of the song is upbeat and joyful, with a lively brass section and swinging rhythm. “Hello Dolly” has become a beloved jazz standard and has been covered by many other jazz vocalists and instrumentalists.
9. Carmen McRae
“Stardust” by Nat King Cole is a timeless classic that showcases his smooth, soulful voice. Originally composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish, the song has been covered countless times, but Cole’s rendition remains one of the most beloved. The slow, romantic melody and heartfelt lyrics about longing and nostalgia perfectly capture the mood of the era. Cole’s interpretation features his signature velvet vocal tone and phrasing, making it a standout in his extensive discography. “Stardust” has endured as a jazz standard and is a shining example of Cole’s talent as a vocalist and interpreter.
10. Jo Stafford
Jo Stafford’s “No Other Love” is a beautiful ballad that showcases her smooth and mellow voice. Originally written for the 1953 Broadway musical “Me and Juliet,” Stafford’s rendition of the song became a hit single that stayed on the Billboard charts for 26 weeks. The song’s gentle melody and heartfelt lyrics speak of a deep and abiding love, making it a popular choice for weddings and romantic occasions. Stafford’s understated and emotive performance perfectly captures the essence of the song, making “No Other Love” one of the most beloved and enduring ballads of all time.
11. Helen Forrest
Helen Forrest’s rendition of “I Had the Craziest Dream” is a classic example of her sweet and smooth vocals. The song is a romantic ballad with a dreamy melody and poetic lyrics. Helen’s voice flows effortlessly over the lush orchestration, bringing out the beauty and longing of the song. She adds just the right amount of emotion to convey the feeling of a magical dream, making the listener feel swept away. This song showcases Helen’s ability to convey the sweet, innocent side of jazz singing, making it a must-listen for fans of the genre.
12. Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” is an iconic song that has become synonymous with the city it describes. The song was written in 1954 by George Cory and Douglass Cross, but it was Bennett’s 1962 version that made it a hit. Bennett’s smooth vocals and the song’s catchy melody make it a timeless classic. The song has been covered by numerous artists and has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials. With its sentimental lyrics and unforgettable melody, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” has become one of the most beloved songs of all time.
13. Johnny Hartman
“Skylark” by Johnny Hartman is a soulful and melancholic interpretation of the Hoagy Carmichael classic. Hartman’s rich baritone voice is smooth and comforting, but also conveys a deep sense of yearning and heartbreak. The simple and understated instrumentation of piano, bass, and drums allow Hartman’s vocals to take center stage, and the arrangement builds gradually to a stunning climax with a soaring trumpet solo. The emotional depth and sincerity of Hartman’s performance make this rendition of “Skylark” a standout among the many covers of this beloved jazz standard.
14. Lee Wiley
Lee Wiley’s version of “Manhattan” is a mesmerizing interpretation of the classic Rodgers and Hart tune. Her smooth and sultry voice glides over the jazzy piano accompaniment with effortless grace, evoking the bustling energy and romantic atmosphere of the bustling city. The arrangement is understated, allowing Wiley’s voice to take center stage and showcase her impressive vocal control and emotional depth. The song’s longing lyrics are brought to life by Wiley’s delivery, making the listener feel the ache of the narrator’s unrequited love. Overall, this rendition of “Manhattan” is a timeless masterpiece of vocal jazz.
15. Betty Carter
Betty Carter’s unique vocal style shines in her rendition of the classic jazz standard “In a Mellow Tone.” With a playful and improvisational approach, Carter delivers a captivating performance filled with dynamic range and unexpected phrasing. Her scatting abilities are on full display as she seamlessly weaves in and out of the melody with ease. The backing band provides a solid foundation, but also allows Carter’s vocals to take center stage. Overall, “In a Mellow Tone” is a standout track that showcases Carter’s incredible talent and contribution to the world of jazz.
16. Rosemary Clooney
Song number 16 features the legendary jazz singer Rosemary Clooney, who rose to fame in the 1950s with hits like “Come On-a My House” and “Mambo Italiano”. The song in question is “Tenderly”, a romantic ballad that showcases Clooney’s soulful and emotive voice. The arrangement is soft and delicate, with gentle piano, strings, and brushed drums providing a subtle backdrop to Clooney’s singing. The lyrics speak of a deep and abiding love, and Clooney’s performance imbues the song with a sense of sincerity and vulnerability. “Tenderly” is a classic example of Clooney’s timeless vocal style and her enduring popularity among jazz enthusiasts.
17. Helen Merrill
Helen Merrill’s soulful rendition of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” is a classic example of her unique vocal style. Her rich, smooth tone draws the listener in from the very beginning, and she delivers the lyrics with an effortless grace. The arrangement is understated, featuring a simple piano and bass accompaniment that allows Merrill’s voice to take center stage. As the song progresses, Merrill’s subtle phrasing and delicate vibrato add depth and emotion to the performance, leaving the listener with a sense of longing and nostalgia. This timeless recording is a testament to Merrill’s status as one of the great jazz vocalists of all time.
18. Mel Torme
Mel Torme, also known as “The Velvet Fog,” was an American jazz singer and composer known for his smooth and sophisticated vocal style. He recorded numerous jazz standards and popular songs over his six-decade career, including “Blue Moon,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Comin’ Home Baby.” Torme’s signature scat singing and improvisation skills earned him a place among the most respected vocalists in jazz history. In addition to his music career, Torme also acted in films and television shows. His contribution to the jazz genre has made him a legendary figure in music history, and his influence continues to inspire musicians to this day.
19. Margaret Whiting
Margaret Whiting was an American pop singer who began her career in the 1940s and remained active in the music industry for several decades. Known for her warm and expressive voice, she recorded numerous hits throughout her career, including “Moonlight in Vermont” and “It Might as Well Be Spring”. In addition to her successful recording career, Whiting also appeared in films and on television, and was a frequent guest on talk shows and variety programs. With her distinctive voice and captivating stage presence, she left a lasting impact on the music industry and remains a beloved figure among fans of traditional pop music.
20. Dianne Reeves
“Dianne Reeves” is a smooth jazz singer known for her rich and soulful voice. Her rendition of “Better Days” is a beautiful and uplifting song about hope and positivity. The song starts off with a gentle guitar strumming, which is gradually joined by the drums, bass, and keyboards, creating a mesmerizing soundscape. Reeves’ voice is full of emotion and warmth as she sings the lyrics, “Better days, better days, are coming our way.” The song is a perfect example of her ability to capture the listener’s heart and soul with her soothing voice and inspiring lyrics.
21. Susannah McCorkle
Susannah McCorkle was an American jazz singer who recorded several albums in the 1970s and 1980s. Her rendition of “How Deep Is the Ocean” is a standout in her discography. The song was originally written by Irving Berlin and has been covered by numerous artists, but McCorkle’s version showcases her exceptional vocal range and emotional depth. Her phrasing and interpretation of the lyrics are impeccable, making the listener feel the intensity of the song’s sentiment. McCorkle’s legacy in jazz is notable for her ability to blend classic standards with her own unique style and for her contributions to the genre’s evolution.
22. Anita O’Day
Anita O’Day was an American jazz singer known for her unique style and scat singing abilities. In her rendition of “Tea for Two,” she showcases her incredible range and playful vocal improvisation. The song starts with a simple piano introduction before Anita’s voice enters, full of life and energy. She effortlessly navigates through the melody, embellishing it with her signature scat singing and occasional laughter. Anita’s voice is both sweet and powerful, and her ability to swing is unmatched. “Tea for Two” is a perfect example of her talent and creativity as a jazz vocalist, making her a true icon of the genre.
23. Julie London
Julie London was an American jazz and pop singer and actress whose sultry and seductive voice became her trademark. Her rendition of “Cry Me a River” became a hit and remains one of her most popular songs. In her music career, London released 32 albums and performed in numerous concerts and television shows. Her style of singing was characterized by her deep, smoky voice and her ability to convey emotions through her music. London was also a successful actress, appearing in several films and TV series throughout her career. Her talent and unique style left a lasting impact on the music industry.
24. Shirley Horn
Song number 24 is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that speaks to the universal feeling of heartbreak and loss. With its melancholic melody and poignant lyrics, the song evokes a sense of longing and nostalgia. The singer’s emotive vocals perfectly capture the depth of the emotion, as they sing about the pain of saying goodbye to a loved one and the struggles of moving on. Despite the sadness of the song, there is a sense of hope in the way the singer expresses their desire to heal and find happiness again. Overall, the song is a powerful ode to the human experience of loss and the resilience of the human spirit.
25. Blossom Dearie
Blossom Dearie was an American jazz singer and pianist known for her unique vocal style and minimalist approach to music. Her distinctive voice, characterized by a high-pitched and childlike quality, set her apart from other singers of her time. Dearie was a versatile musician who performed a range of genres including bebop, swing, and bossa nova, and collaborated with several prominent jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and Bob Dorough. Her signature song “Peel Me a Grape” remains a jazz standard to this day. Dearie’s intimate and understated performances captivated audiences, and her legacy as an influential jazz artist endures to this day.
26. Nancy Wilson
Nancy Wilson was an American singer known for her sultry, sophisticated vocal style and her ability to effortlessly cross between jazz, pop, and R&B genres. Her career spanned over five decades, during which she released more than 70 albums and won three Grammy Awards. Wilson’s smooth and rich voice, combined with her ability to tell stories through her songs, captivated audiences around the world. Some of her most popular songs include “Guess Who I Saw Today,” “The Very Thought of You,” and “Save Your Love For Me.” Wilson was not only a talented singer but also an actress and a humanitarian, who used her platform to advocate for social justice and civil rights.
27. Abbey Lincoln
Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010) was an American jazz singer, songwriter, and actress known for her soulful and emotive voice. She was also a civil rights activist and used her music to express political and social issues. Her work in the 1960s reflected the black consciousness movement and she often sang about the struggles and injustices faced by African Americans. Lincoln’s music was a fusion of jazz, blues, and folk and her lyrics were often deeply personal and introspective. She continued to perform and record throughout her career and her legacy continues to inspire musicians and activists alike.
28. Chet Baker
Chet Baker was an American jazz trumpeter and singer known for his lyrical playing and delicate, intimate singing style. He became famous in the 1950s with his cool jazz approach and collaborations with other jazz legends such as Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz. Baker’s music is characterized by his unique phrasing and melodic improvisations, often inspired by the great vocalists of his era. His personal life was marked by drug addiction and legal troubles, but his music continues to inspire new generations of musicians and listeners. “My Funny Valentine” is one of his most popular and enduring recordings.
29. Billy Eckstine
Billy Eckstine was a jazz singer and bandleader who rose to prominence during the 1940s and 1950s. His rich baritone voice and charismatic stage presence made him a popular performer in both jazz and pop music. Eckstine was one of the first African American male singers to achieve mainstream success and was a trailblazer for future generations of black performers. He collaborated with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan and produced numerous hits, including “A Cottage for Sale” and “I Apologize”. Eckstine’s legacy as a pioneering jazz vocalist and bandleader continues to inspire musicians today.
30. Etta James
Etta James, born in Los Angeles in 1938, was an American singer known for her soulful and powerful voice, which made her a prominent figure in R&B, blues, and rock music. She began her career singing gospel music, but soon transitioned to secular music, releasing her first hit, “The Wallflower,” in 1955. She later achieved great success with hits such as “At Last,” “Tell Mama,” and “I’d Rather Go Blind.” James’s voice was admired for its emotional depth and versatility, and she influenced generations of singers with her powerful delivery and ability to convey the raw emotion of her music.
31. Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee was an American jazz and pop singer, songwriter, and actress, known for her sultry and smooth voice. With a career spanning over six decades, Lee worked with some of the most prominent musicians of her time, including Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones. She was a prolific songwriter, penning hits such as “Fever” and “Is That All There Is?” Lee was also a talented actress, appearing in several films and television shows, and even earning an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in the 1955 film “Pete Kelly’s Blues.” Lee’s legacy as a versatile and influential performer in both jazz and pop music continues to inspire musicians today.
32. June Christy
Song number 32 on the list is “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. Released in 1967, it is considered one of Hendrix’s signature songs and a landmark in the history of rock music. The song’s psychedelic sound and Hendrix’s iconic guitar riffs and lyrics have made it a classic and enduring favorite among music fans. “Purple Haze” is often interpreted as a reference to drugs, but Hendrix himself explained that it was actually inspired by a dream he had about walking under the sea. The song’s influence on popular culture and music is undeniable, cementing Hendrix’s place as a guitar legend.
33. Chris Connor
Song number 33 is a popular classic rock ballad released in 1971 by the British band Led Zeppelin. The song is titled “Stairway to Heaven,” and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The song starts with a gentle acoustic guitar melody and builds up to a powerful crescendo with soaring vocals and electric guitar riffs. The lyrics are often interpreted as a mystical and spiritual journey, with references to mythology and folklore. “Stairway to Heaven” is an iconic song that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire generations of music lovers.
34. Alice Babs
Alice Babs was a Swedish jazz singer known for her pure, angelic voice and impressive range. Her music often featured scatting and improvisation, blending traditional jazz with Swedish folk influences. In her early career, she sang with Duke Ellington’s orchestra and became known for her performances of his compositions. Babs was also a prolific recording artist, with a discography spanning over 60 years. Her song “Jag Vet en Dejlig Rosa” is a beloved Swedish folk tune, and her rendition of “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is a classic example of her vocal prowess and playful style.
35. Freddy Cole
“Freddy Cole” is a jazzy ballad performed by the American jazz pianist and singer, Freddy Cole. The song, which features Cole’s soulful vocals accompanied by a piano, saxophone, and drums, tells a story of a man reminiscing about his past love and the emotions that come with it. Cole’s smooth and soothing voice draws the listener in, creating a nostalgic and intimate atmosphere. With its soulful melody and poignant lyrics, “Freddy Cole” is a heartfelt tribute to lost love and a testament to Cole’s enduring talent as a jazz musician and vocalist.
36. Lena Horne
“Lena Horne” is a soulful and captivating performance by the legendary singer and actress. The song is a ballad that showcases Horne’s incredible vocal range and emotive power. With a jazzy instrumentation that perfectly complements Horne’s vocals, the song tells the story of a woman who has been hurt by love and is trying to move on. Horne’s delivery is both tender and powerful, as she infuses every word with deep emotion and meaning. This timeless classic is a testament to Horne’s talent and enduring legacy as one of the greatest performers of all time.
37. Ray Charles
Ray Charles, also known as “The Genius,” was an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and composer who created a unique sound that blended gospel, blues, and R&B. His hit song “Georgia on My Mind” became the state song of Georgia and was later covered by many other artists. The song features Charles’ soulful voice accompanied by his bluesy piano playing and a lush orchestral arrangement. The lyrics express nostalgia and longing for home, a theme that resonated with many listeners. Charles’ iconic style and powerful voice continue to inspire musicians today, cementing his place as one of the greatest musicians of all time.
38. Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore was an American singer and actress, known for her smooth vocal style and charming personality. In her song “Blues in the Night,” she showcases her ability to interpret a song with her soulful voice. The song was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer and originally featured in the 1941 film “Blues in the Night.” Dinah’s version of the song became a hit in 1942 and has since become a classic of the American Songbook. With its bluesy melody and poignant lyrics, “Blues in the Night” is a timeless example of Dinah’s skill as a vocalist and her ability to connect with audiences.
39. Kay Starr
Kay Starr was an American jazz and pop singer known for her distinctive voice and dynamic stage presence. In her rendition of the classic song “Stormy Weather,” Starr showcases her powerful vocal range and emotive delivery. The song, with its melancholic lyrics and bluesy melody, perfectly captures the feeling of heartbreak and longing. Starr’s interpretation is both soulful and nuanced, with a hint of grit in her voice that adds to the emotional impact of the song. Her performance is a testament to her status as one of the great female jazz vocalists of the mid-20th century.
40. Annie Ross
Annie Ross’ “Twisted” is a fun and quirky jazz classic that showcases Ross’ unique vocal style and playful lyrics. The song, which tells the story of a woman with a twisted perspective on love and relationships, features Ross’ scatting and improvisational abilities, as well as a catchy melody that will have listeners tapping their feet. Originally recorded in 1952 with the group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, “Twisted” has since been covered by numerous artists and remains a beloved and influential tune in the jazz canon. Ross’ performance on this recording is a testament to her talent and enduring impact on the genre.
41. Jon Hendricks
“Moanin’” is a classic jazz vocal performance by Jon Hendricks, originally recorded in 1960. It features Hendricks’ signature scatting and vocalese style, where he uses his voice as an instrument to imitate the sounds of the horn section. The song was written by Bobby Timmons, and Hendricks added his own lyrics to the tune. Hendricks’ energetic and playful delivery, backed by a swinging rhythm section, makes this rendition of “Moanin’” a joyous and memorable listening experience. This song showcases Hendricks’ innovative approach to jazz singing and solidifies his place as one of the great jazz vocalists of all time.
42. Mildred Bailey
Mildred Bailey was a legendary jazz singer from the early 20th century. Her rendition of “Rockin’ Chair” is a classic example of her unique vocal style, which combined the bluesy, soulful sound of African American music with the polished, refined style of the white middle class. Bailey’s clear and powerful voice shines through in this recording, and her ability to convey emotion through her phrasing and inflection is truly remarkable. “Rockin’ Chair” is a testament to Bailey’s enduring legacy as one of the most important and influential vocalists in the history of jazz music.
43. Betty Roche
Betty Roche’s “Take the A Train” is a jazz classic with a vibrant energy that captures the excitement of a ride on New York City’s famous A Train. Roche’s voice is smooth and sultry, effortlessly gliding over the song’s swinging rhythm. Her phrasing is impeccable, adding a playful, improvisational quality to the melody. The accompanying musicians shine as well, with a dynamic piano solo and a grooving bassline that keeps the track driving forward. Roche’s performance is a perfect showcase of the joyful spirit and infectious energy that jazz music can bring to life.
44. Harry Connick Jr.
“Recipe for Love” by Harry Connick Jr. is a playful and upbeat jazz tune with swing rhythm that showcases the singer’s smooth vocals and impressive piano skills. Released in 1990, the song features a brass section that adds a lively energy to the track. The lyrics describe the different ingredients that make up the recipe for love, using cooking metaphors and wordplay. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along with, making it a popular choice for live performances. “Recipe for Love” is a fun and light-hearted addition to any jazz playlist.
45. Jeri Southern
Jeri Southern’s rendition of “Something I Dreamed Last Night” showcases her smooth and sultry voice with an emotional depth that captivates the listener. The song begins with a slow and melancholic piano intro that sets the mood for the entire performance. Southern’s delicate and expressive voice delivers the lyrics with great control, conveying the emotional weight of the words. Her interpretation of the melody is nuanced and thoughtful, making each phrase feel deliberate and meaningful. The arrangement is beautifully crafted, highlighting the song’s haunting melody and poignant lyrics. Overall, Southern’s performance is a masterful example of the power of vocal interpretation in jazz music.
46. Diane Schuur
Diane Schuur’s smooth and soulful voice shines in her rendition of the classic jazz ballad “Here’s That Rainy Day.” With a band that complements her vocal style, Schuur’s emotional and nuanced interpretation of the lyrics evokes a sense of longing and introspection. Her vocal control and phrasing are impeccable, as she navigates through the song’s melodies and dynamic shifts. The arrangement also features some exceptional piano solos, adding to the song’s emotional depth and complexity. Overall, Schuur’s version of “Here’s That Rainy Day” showcases her talent as a vocalist and her ability to connect with her audience through music.
47. Norma Winstone
“Like a Lover” by Norma Winstone is a beautiful bossa nova with a haunting melody and poetic lyrics. Winstone’s effortless and dreamy vocal delivery fits perfectly with the laid-back and romantic feel of the song. The arrangement features a lovely interplay between the piano and the saxophone, creating a serene atmosphere. Winstone’s interpretation of the tune is sophisticated and nuanced, conveying the emotion of the lyrics with subtlety and grace. “Like a Lover” is a perfect example of Winstone’s talent as a jazz singer, and her ability to capture the essence of a song and make it her own.
48. Mark Murphy
Mark Murphy was a renowned jazz vocalist known for his improvisational skills and unique interpretations of classic jazz standards. “Stolen Moments,” one of his most well-known songs, showcases his ability to effortlessly flow between scat singing and melodic lines while maintaining a deep emotional connection with the lyrics. His smooth and soulful voice, combined with the expert backing of his band, creates a rich and textured soundscape that draws the listener in and keeps them engaged throughout. “Stolen Moments” is a must-listen for any jazz enthusiast, and a testament to Murphy’s unparalleled talent as a vocalist.
49. Carol Sloane
Carol Sloane is a celebrated jazz singer known for her lush voice and impeccable phrasing. In her rendition of “Ill Wind,” Sloane’s voice is both intimate and commanding, as she navigates the song’s melancholic lyrics with poise and grace. Backed by a tight jazz ensemble, including a saxophonist and pianist, Sloane’s performance is a masterclass in jazz singing, with her delicate vibrato and nuanced interpretation of the melody making the song all the more poignant. Sloane’s artistry is on full display in “Ill Wind,” showcasing why she is considered one of the most talented jazz vocalists of her generation.
50. Dee Dee Bridgewater
Number 50 is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that tells the story of a lost love. The song features a solo piano, and the vocalist’s voice carries the melody with ease. The lyrics describe the narrator’s longing for someone they have lost, and the pain that comes with not being able to move on. The chorus is particularly memorable, with the line “I can’t forget the way you looked at me” repeating throughout. The song builds to an emotional climax, with the vocalist pouring their heart out over the piano’s dramatic chords. Overall, Number 50 is a powerful and emotional ballad that will tug at your heartstrings.
51. Mary Stallings
“Mary Stallings” is a soulful jazz standard performed by the legendary vocalist herself. With a voice that is both powerful and delicate, Stallings delivers a heartfelt rendition of this classic tune, backed by a skilled band of musicians. Her phrasing is impeccable, and her ability to convey emotion through her singing is truly remarkable. The arrangement is filled with lush chords and dynamic shifts, allowing Stallings to showcase her vocal range and expressiveness. This performance is a testament to the enduring power of jazz music, and a shining example of the artistry of one of its most beloved performers.
52. Gloria Lynne
“Gloria Lynne” is a soulful and groovy jazz track that highlights the impeccable vocals of Gloria Lynne. The song features a funky rhythm section that sets the perfect foundation for Lynne’s smooth and sultry voice. Her phrasing is effortless and her timing is impeccable, allowing her to infuse the lyrics with a sense of depth and emotion. The arrangement is rich and dynamic, featuring tasteful horn and piano solos that add an extra layer of complexity to the song. Overall, “Gloria Lynne” is a masterclass in vocal jazz, and a testament to the enduring power of Lynne’s music.
53. Jimmy Rushing
“Jimmy Rushing” is a swinging jazz tune that showcases the powerful vocals of the legendary singer. Backed by a tight rhythm section and a lively horn section, Rushing delivers a dynamic performance that captures the spirit of the jazz era. His rich and soulful voice is perfectly suited to the bluesy melody, and his improvisations are filled with energy and passion. The arrangement is playful and upbeat, featuring infectious riffs and driving rhythms that keep the song moving forward. Overall, “Jimmy Rushing” is a timeless classic that highlights the talents of one of the most beloved jazz vocalists of all time.
54. Natalie Cole
“Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole is a beautiful and emotional ballad that showcases the incredible vocal range and control of the singer. The song’s simple and elegant arrangement, featuring a lush string section and subtle piano accompaniment, allows Cole’s voice to shine and express the deep emotions of the lyrics. Her phrasing is both delicate and powerful, conveying the bittersweet longing and nostalgia of the song. The timeless melody and timeless lyrics make this a classic song that has resonated with audiences for decades. Overall, “Unforgettable” is a stunning showcase of Natalie Cole’s vocal talent and musical sensitivity.
55. Jack Teagarden
“Stars Fell on Alabama” is a classic jazz tune performed by Jack Teagarden, a trombonist known for his expressive playing style and warm tone. The song’s beautiful melody and slow tempo allow Teagarden to showcase his skills as both a soloist and an accompanist. His improvised solos are filled with lyrical phrasing and creative ideas, while his backing of the other instruments creates a smooth and cohesive sound. The band’s interplay is excellent, creating a relaxed and intimate atmosphere that perfectly suits the song’s romantic lyrics. “Stars Fell on Alabama” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate jazz fans today.
56. Cab Calloway
“Minne the Moocher” is a signature song of Cab Calloway, a legendary jazz singer known for his high-energy performances and charismatic personality. The song tells the story of Minnie, a woman with expensive tastes who leads a life of luxury by mooching off others. Calloway’s vibrant vocal delivery and animated scatting perfectly capture the playful and mischievous nature of the character. The song’s catchy melody, lively rhythm, and infectious call-and-response chorus make it an enduring classic of the swing era. “Minne the Moocher” remains one of Calloway’s most famous and beloved recordings, and a true gem of jazz history.
57. Cleo Laine
“Solitude” is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that showcases the rich and expressive voice of British jazz singer Cleo Laine. The song’s melancholy melody and wistful lyrics, which speak of the pain of being alone, perfectly match Laine’s emotive delivery. The sparse and understated instrumentation, which features a delicate piano accompaniment, allows Laine’s vocals to take center stage and shine. Laine’s ability to convey complex emotions through her singing is on full display in this song, making it a poignant and memorable performance that is sure to resonate with anyone who has experienced the sting of loneliness.
58. Tierney Sutton
“Something Cool” is a classic jazz tune performed by the versatile and talented Tierney Sutton. The song’s sultry and smoky atmosphere is perfectly suited to Sutton’s smooth and effortless vocals, which are both seductive and evocative. The minimalist arrangement, featuring a simple bassline and subtle piano chords, allows Sutton’s voice to take center stage and showcase its range and depth. Sutton’s interpretation of the song captures the longing and heartache of the lyrics, making it a captivating and emotive performance that draws the listener in and leaves them feeling a sense of melancholic beauty.
59. Alberta Hunter
“Downhearted Blues” is a classic blues standard performed by the legendary Alberta Hunter. The song features Hunter’s soulful and powerful vocals, which convey the heartache and pain of lost love. The piano accompaniment and brass instrumentation perfectly complement Hunter’s vocal style, adding to the song’s bluesy and melancholic atmosphere. The lyrics are both raw and honest, capturing the emotions of heartbreak and despair with poignant simplicity. Hunter’s performance is a masterclass in blues singing, showcasing her incredible range and control, as well as her ability to infuse each word with raw emotion and passion.
60. Nneena Freelon
Nnenna Freelon’s rendition of “Straighten Up and Fly Right” is a modern take on the classic Nat King Cole hit. Freelon’s rich and sultry voice glides effortlessly over the jazzy arrangements, accompanied by a talented group of musicians. Her playful and upbeat delivery adds a fresh spin to the song, making it both fun and sophisticated. Freelon’s impressive range and control are on full display, as she expertly navigates the song’s twists and turns. This performance is a testament to Freelon’s skill as a jazz vocalist and her ability to put her own stamp on a beloved classic.
61. Stacy Kent
Stacy Kent’s velvety voice is showcased in her rendition of “What a Wonderful World.” Her soothing tone and phrasing offer a fresh take on the classic, and she delivers the lyrics with sincere emotion. The backing instrumental features a soft guitar strum, muted horns, and subtle percussion, which create a relaxing, intimate atmosphere. Kent’s style is elegant, with a restrained vibrato that adds to the song’s tenderness. Her performance is a testament to her vocal control and ability to convey the song’s message. Kent’s version of “What a Wonderful World” is an invitation to appreciate life’s beauty and cherish the moment.
62. Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters was a prominent African-American jazz and blues vocalist and actress who rose to fame in the 1920s and 1930s. Her soulful and emotive voice can be heard in the song “Stormy Weather,” which has become one of her signature tunes. The song is a powerful expression of heartbreak and loss, with Waters’ voice conveying the pain and longing of the lyrics. Her unique style, which combined elements of blues, jazz, and gospel, influenced countless other musicians and helped to establish her as one of the most influential vocalists of her time.
63. Karrin Alyson
Karrin Allyson’s rendition of “O Pato” is a lively and upbeat tune that showcases her vocal range and jazz sensibilities. The Brazilian song, originally composed by Jayme Silva and Neuza Teixeira, is given a modern twist by Allyson, who infuses it with scatting and improvisation. The swinging rhythm section and playful horn accompaniment provide a perfect complement to Allyson’s expressive voice, which effortlessly switches between English and Portuguese lyrics. The overall effect is a delightful and engaging performance that captures the spirit of both jazz and Brazilian music, leaving listeners feeling energized and uplifted.
64. Sheila Jordan
“Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child is a classic R&B hit released in 1999. The song features powerful vocals from Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, and tells the story of a woman who suspects her partner of cheating and demands that he confesses the truth. The catchy chorus and hypnotic beat make “Say My Name” an instant dance floor anthem, while the lyrics strike a chord with anyone who’s been in a relationship where trust has been broken. With its unforgettable melody and sassy attitude, “Say My Name” remains a beloved song that has stood the test of time.
65. Cecile Salvant
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder is a funky, soulful song that celebrates the power of intuition and warns against the dangers of superstition. The song’s catchy bassline and rhythmic groove provide the perfect backdrop for Wonder’s energetic vocals and funky keyboard riffs. The lyrics explore the idea that our beliefs and actions have consequences, and encourage listeners to trust their instincts and reject irrational fears. “Superstition” is a classic example of Stevie Wonder’s signature sound, blending soul, funk, and pop into an infectious musical experience that remains popular and relevant to this day.
66. Eddie Jefferson
“66” is a heart-warming ballad about a long-lasting and loving relationship. The song features delicate acoustic guitar and emotional vocals that tell the story of a couple who have been together for 66 years. The lyrics express the enduring love between two people who have shared a lifetime of experiences and memories. The song celebrates the beauty of commitment and the power of love that can stand the test of time. With its touching melody and sincere lyrics, “66” is a tribute to love that will resonate with listeners of all ages.
67. Oscar Brown Jr.
“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of generations with its poignant lyrics and catchy melody. The song is a beautiful ballad about the complexities of love and the persistence of memories, and Lauper’s soulful vocals perfectly convey the emotions of the lyrics. The song’s melody is simple yet hauntingly beautiful, and the chorus is so infectious that it will have you singing along after just one listen. “Time After Time” is a timeless classic that will continue to be loved for years to come.
68. Joe Williams
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star is a dreamy and ethereal song that takes listeners on a journey of longing and introspection. The gentle guitar strumming and soft, almost whispered vocals create a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. The lyrics describe the desire to lose oneself in another person, to become so intertwined that the two are indistinguishable. The song captures the feeling of vulnerability and surrender that comes with falling in love. With its melancholic yet hopeful tone, “Fade Into You” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate listeners with its mesmerizing beauty.
69. Teddy Grace
“69” is a seductive and playful R&B track that explores the intimate moments between two lovers. With its smooth and sultry beat, the song creates a sensuous atmosphere that is enhanced by the breathy and intimate vocals of the singer. The lyrics use clever wordplay and double entendres to convey the passion and desire of the moment, making the song both alluring and playful. The chorus features a catchy hook that is sure to stick in the listener’s head, making “69” a perfect addition to any romantic playlist.
70. Ernie Andrews
“70” is a nostalgic and emotional ballad about growing up and moving on. The song begins with soft piano chords and builds up to a powerful chorus with soaring vocals and a full band sound. The lyrics paint a picture of a person looking back on their life and realizing how much they’ve grown and changed. The chorus, “I’m not who I used to be, I’m not who I thought I’d be at 70,” expresses the theme of personal growth and the acceptance that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Overall, “70” is a touching and introspective song with a strong message of self-reflection.
71. Jimmy Scott
“Yesterday” by The Beatles is a timeless classic that needs no introduction. Written by Paul McCartney in 1965, this ballad has become one of the most covered songs in history. Its hauntingly beautiful melody and poignant lyrics about lost love and regret continue to resonate with listeners of all ages. The simplicity of the arrangement, with just McCartney’s vocals and acoustic guitar, makes it even more powerful. The song’s message is universal and relatable, reminding us all that even the most cherished moments can slip away in the blink of an eye.
72. Fats Waller
“Time After Time” is a timeless ballad that speaks to the heart of love and longing. Written and performed by Cyndi Lauper in 1983, the song’s tender melody and poetic lyrics have made it a classic in pop culture. Lauper’s haunting voice brings the melancholic mood of the song to life, as she sings about the ups and downs of relationships and the importance of cherishing the moments spent with loved ones. The song’s emotional depth and universal appeal have made it a beloved favorite that continues to touch hearts and evoke nostalgic memories of love and loss.
73. Ella Mae Morse
“73” is a heartfelt acoustic ballad that showcases the raw emotions of love and loss. The gentle strumming of the guitar combined with the singer’s tender voice creates a hauntingly beautiful sound that captures the essence of the lyrics. The song tells the story of a love that was lost too soon and the lingering pain that follows. The lyrics are poignant and reflective, as the singer sings about the memories that they shared and the regret of not being able to hold onto them. “73” is a poignant tribute to lost love that will leave listeners feeling deeply moved.
74. Eartha Kitt
The track is led by the artist’s soulful voice and sparse piano, which slowly build throughout the song. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of someone who has been left behind and is struggling to move on. The chorus is particularly powerful, with soaring harmonies and a heartbreaking melody that captures the emotion of the song perfectly. As the track comes to a close, the instrumentation fades away, leaving only the artist’s voice, which echoes in the listener’s mind long after the final note has faded.
75. Leon Thomas
The vocals are raw and vulnerable, accompanied by a simple yet haunting acoustic guitar melody. The lyrics speak of searching for answers and understanding the journey of life. The chorus is uplifting and hopeful, encouraging the listener to keep pushing through difficult times. The song builds towards the end, with added layers of instrumentation and harmonies, creating a sense of triumph and strength. “75” is a powerful ballad that speaks to anyone on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
76. Maxine Sullivan
The song features a marching band theme and celebrates the joy of music and the excitement of a parade. The opening lyrics, “Seventy-six trombones led the big parade, with a hundred and ten cornets close at hand,” set the tone for the lively, brass-filled melody that follows. The song has become a popular choice for marching bands and is often performed at parades and other festive occasions. With its catchy tune and upbeat lyrics, “76 Trombones” continues to be a beloved classic.
77. Vanessa Rubin
The gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar creates a nostalgic and introspective atmosphere, while the singer’s tender and emotive voice delivers lyrics that speak to the universal human experience of love and heartbreak. The song builds to a moving climax with the addition of harmonies and a soulful violin, carrying the listener along on a journey of reflection and healing. Overall, Number 77 is a beautiful and soulful tribute to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit.
78. Johnny Mercer
Number 78 is a soulful and emotional ballad that captures the essence of heartbreak and moving on. The song begins with a gentle guitar strumming and builds up with the addition of piano and drums, creating a melancholic atmosphere. The vocals are raw and vulnerable, expressing the pain of letting go of a love that once felt like home. The lyrics are introspective and honest, reminding the listener that although it’s difficult to move on, it’s important to find strength in oneself and take the first steps towards healing. Overall, the song is a powerful reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit.
79. Cassandra Wilson
The vocals are passionate and expressive, delivering an uplifting message about staying positive in the face of adversity. The song’s chorus is anthemic, with a soaring melody and sing-along lyrics that will have listeners singing along and tapping their feet. The production is polished and dynamic, with layers of guitar, bass, and keyboards creating a full and energetic sound. Overall, Number 79 is a feel-good song that celebrates the power of perseverance and the joy of living life to the fullest.
80. Beverly Kenney
The song is full of energy and enthusiasm, encouraging listeners to get up and dance. The vocals are bright and optimistic, with a playful edge that adds to the song’s overall fun and carefree vibe. The chorus is particularly memorable, with its infectious melody and sing-along lyrics. Overall, Number 80 is a feel-good song that is sure to put a smile on your face and get your feet tapping.
81. Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw is an American jazz singer known for her powerful and soulful voice. Her rendition of the classic jazz tune “California Soul” became a hit in the late 1960s, bringing her widespread recognition. Throughout her career, Shaw has recorded a variety of jazz styles, including bebop, swing, and blues. Her unique phrasing and emotive delivery have made her a beloved figure in the jazz world. In addition to her solo work, Shaw has collaborated with a number of notable musicians, including Count Basie, Quincy Jones, and Duke Ellington. Her music continues to inspire and influence generations of jazz performers.
82. Ivie Anderson
Ivie Anderson was an American jazz singer born in 1905. She is best known for her work with Duke Ellington, where she sang on a number of his hits, including “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Stormy Weather”. In her solo career, Anderson’s vocal range and unique phrasing made her stand out as a distinctive jazz singer. Her version of “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” showcases her silky smooth vocals and emotive delivery. Anderson was known for her charismatic stage presence, making her a beloved performer among audiences during her time.
83. Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown, also known as “Miss Rhythm,” was an American singer-songwriter and actress who helped shape R&B music. Her song “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean” became a hit in the early 1950s, reaching number one on the R&B chart. Brown’s powerful and emotional vocals showcased her ability to convey the struggles and joys of love and life. In addition to her music career, she was also a civil rights activist and played a pivotal role in the music industry’s fight for artists’ rights and royalties. Brown’s contributions to music and society have left an indelible mark on American culture.
84. Monica Zetterlund
Monica Zetterlund was a Swedish jazz singer and actress known for her distinct voice and unique interpretations of jazz standards. Her rendition of “Waltz for Debby” became one of her most iconic songs. Zetterlund was also known for her collaborations with legendary jazz musicians like Bill Evans, and her work with Swedish jazz pianist and composer, Jan Johansson. Her music often blended traditional jazz elements with Scandinavian folk influences, and her deep, expressive voice added a soulful quality to her performances. Zetterlund’s legacy continues to influence jazz musicians in Sweden and beyond, and her music remains beloved by fans of all generations.
85. Michael Buble
“Feeling Good” by Michael Buble is a jazzy rendition of the classic Nina Simone song. Buble’s smooth and powerful vocals are accompanied by a big band sound, featuring horns, percussion, and piano. The song starts with a slow and sultry introduction, building up to a lively and upbeat chorus that will make you want to dance. Buble’s interpretation of the song is uplifting and positive, with lyrics that encourage listeners to embrace the present moment and appreciate the good things in life. “Feeling Good” is a timeless classic that showcases Buble’s talents as a crooner and entertainer.
86. George Benson
George Benson is a jazz guitarist and vocalist who has been active in the music industry for more than six decades. His song “On Broadway” is a jazz-funk classic that showcases his virtuosic guitar skills and soulful voice. The track is characterized by its funky bassline, tight horn section, and catchy chorus. Benson’s guitar solos are electrifying, as he effortlessly blends bebop and blues phrasing with modern jazz techniques. “On Broadway” was a massive hit for Benson, reaching the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning him a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance in 1979.
87. King Pleasure
“Moody’s Mood for Love” is one of King Pleasure’s most famous songs. It’s a jazz classic, featuring his unique vocal style known as “vocalese,” which involves improvising lyrics to existing instrumental jazz melodies. In this song, he puts his spin on a saxophone solo by James Moody, creating a playful and romantic tune that showcases both his scatting skills and his soulful voice. King Pleasure’s interpretation of “Moody’s Mood for Love” has become a jazz standard, with countless covers and samples by other musicians. It remains a timeless classic of the genre and a testament to King Pleasure’s innovative approach to jazz vocals.
88. Jimmy Witherspoon
Jimmy Witherspoon was an American blues singer who is known for his deep and smooth vocal style. In his song “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” Witherspoon’s voice conveys a sense of both heartbreak and defiance as he sings about his troubled relationship. The song is driven by a simple yet powerful piano riff and features Witherspoon’s impressive range and control as a vocalist. Witherspoon’s interpretation of the song has become a classic in the blues genre and has been covered by numerous artists. His contribution to the development of the blues genre is celebrated by many, and his music continues to be enjoyed by fans today.
89. John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli is a renowned jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter known for his signature sound and unparalleled style. His rendition of classic jazz standards and pop tunes has won the hearts of millions worldwide. In his performance of “I Got Rhythm,” Pizzarelli’s effortless guitar riffs and soulful vocal range are on full display. He is accompanied by a dynamic trio, featuring Martin Pizzarelli on bass and Tony Tedesco on drums, that seamlessly blends swing and bebop to create a memorable musical experience. Pizzarelli’s interpretation of this classic song is a testament to his mastery of the genre and his ability to make jazz accessible to all.
90. Roberta Gambarini
Roberta Gambarini is a jazz vocalist and songwriter from Italy known for her clear and powerful voice. In her rendition of “On The Sunny Side Of The Street,” she delivers a swinging and joyful performance, backed by a tight and dynamic jazz ensemble. Her impeccable sense of timing and phrasing allows her to deliver the lyrics with playfulness and ease, while her improvisational skills shine through her scatting passages. Her ability to blend tradition with modernity makes her a unique voice in the contemporary jazz scene, and her passionate performances are always a delight to listen to.
91. Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto, a Brazilian singer, is widely recognized for her rendition of the hit song “The Girl from Ipanema” in the 1960s. Her soft, airy voice and understated style in jazz and bossa nova music gained her international acclaim. “Agua de Beber” is another notable song from her career, with its smooth rhythm and gentle melody. Gilberto’s music embodies the spirit of Brazil and its culture, with its mix of jazz, samba, and bossa nova elements. Her songs are timeless classics, and her influence on Brazilian music remains strong to this day. Gilberto’s work continues to inspire new generations of musicians and listeners alike.
92. Madeleine Peyroux
Madeleine Peyroux’s “Don’t Wait Too Long” is a soulful jazz song that captures the essence of romance and heartbreak. With her smoky voice and impeccable phrasing, Peyroux delivers a memorable performance that pulls at the heartstrings. The song features an intimate arrangement with a gentle acoustic guitar and subtle percussion that allows Peyroux’s vocals to shine. The lyrics evoke the feeling of regret and the fear of missed opportunities, urging the listener to seize the moment before it’s too late. “Don’t Wait Too Long” is a poignant reminder of the importance of living in the present and cherishing the ones we love.
93. Helen Humes
Helen Humes was an American jazz and blues singer known for her powerful voice and energetic performances. One of her most famous songs is “Million Dollar Secret”, which showcases her range and ability to convey emotion. In this track, Humes sings about a secret love affair, blending elements of blues and jazz with her soulful vocals. The song features a catchy, upbeat melody and tight instrumentation, with Humes leading the band with her confident, lively singing. With her distinctive style and powerful presence, Humes was a beloved figure in the jazz and blues communities and her music continues to inspire new generations of musicians.
94. Connee Boswell
Connee Boswell was an American jazz singer who rose to fame in the 1930s and 1940s. Her sweet and sultry voice was known for its perfect pitch and ability to carry emotion. “Begin the Beguine” is a perfect example of her vocal range and control, as she seamlessly moves from the lower to upper registers. The song was originally written by Cole Porter and became a hit for Boswell in 1938. Her rendition features a dreamy and romantic quality that perfectly captures the mood of the lyrics. Boswell’s timeless interpretation continues to enchant listeners today.
95. Al Jarreau
Michael Bublé is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor who has become known for his contemporary interpretations of classic pop standards. One of his most popular songs, “Feeling Good,” is a cover of the Nina Simone classic that exudes energy, optimism, and a sense of empowerment. Bublé’s smooth and dynamic vocals are perfectly complemented by a lively big band arrangement, complete with horns, drums, and piano. The song’s lyrics encourage listeners to shake off their worries, leave their troubles behind, and embrace life with confidence and enthusiasm. It’s a feel-good anthem that is sure to put a smile on your face and get your toes tapping.
96. Bob Dorough
Bob Dorough was an American bebop and cool jazz pianist, singer, composer and songwriter. He was best known for his work on the educational children’s TV series “Schoolhouse Rock!”. His song “Three is a Magic Number” from the series became a hit and is still popular today. Dorough’s smooth voice and playful piano accompaniment make his songs fun and catchy. In addition to his work on “Schoolhouse Rock!”, he collaborated with jazz greats like Miles Davis and Blossom Dearie, and recorded several albums of his own. Dorough’s legacy as a musician and educator continues to inspire generations of fans and aspiring musicians.
97. Jamie Cullum
“Twentysomething” by Jamie Cullum is a jazz-pop song from his debut album of the same name. Released in 2003, the song features Cullum’s piano skills and unique vocal style, and has a catchy melody with upbeat lyrics that reflect on the uncertainties and possibilities of life as a twentysomething. With its mix of jazz, pop, and rock elements, the song helped to establish Cullum as a rising star in the jazz world and reached the top 20 of the UK charts. Its youthful energy and relatable lyrics make it a popular choice for audiences of all ages.
98. Kevin Mahogany
Kevin Mahogany was an American jazz vocalist known for his deep baritone voice and his ability to scat-sing. His interpretation of jazz standards was often influenced by blues, gospel, and R&B, and he was also known for his original compositions. “Yesterday I Had The Blues,” a song from his 1995 album of the same name, showcases his soulful and emotive voice. Mahogany’s vocals are supported by a tight rhythm section and tasteful guitar work, creating a classic jazz sound that is both groovy and sophisticated. This song is a testament to Mahogany’s talent as a vocalist and his love for the jazz tradition.
99. Kurt Elling
Kurt Elling, a Grammy-winning American jazz vocalist and songwriter, is renowned for his ability to infuse traditional jazz with modern themes. In his 1995 self-titled debut album, Elling demonstrates his skill at interpreting the jazz standards with a fresh and imaginative approach. On the track “Dolores Dream,” Elling’s rich baritone voice takes center stage, accompanied by an intricate and dynamic arrangement that features a mesmerizing trumpet solo. The song’s poetic lyrics and Elling’s masterful phrasing capture the dreamy and surreal atmosphere of the song’s narrative, making it a standout track in his discography.
100. Irene Reid
Irene Reid was a jazz vocalist known for her powerful voice and expressive delivery. Her rendition of “The Very Thought of You” is a beautiful interpretation of the classic ballad. Reid’s vocals are soulful and emotive, conveying a deep sense of longing and love. The instrumentation is understated but effective, allowing Reid’s voice to take center stage. The gentle piano, drums, and bass provide a subtle backdrop that accentuates the emotions in the lyrics. Overall, “The Very Thought of You” showcases Reid’s impeccable vocal talent and her ability to connect with the listener on an emotional level.
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