Once again, we’ll be exploring what’s new in the world of vocal jazz and traditional pop on this week’s program, taking a look at some singers working today to keep this kind of music alive and push it in new and interesting directions. On this program, we’ll hear jazz veteran Kurt Elling dabble in the music of R&B and funk. We’ll also hear some takes on the music of Nina Simone by singers like Ledisi and Lady Blackbird. And we’ll hear what will very likely be the swan song of the legendary Tony Bennett.
Songs featured on this episode:
- Stacey Kent feat. Art Hirahara, "I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again" (Tomlinson/Ishiguro)
Songs From Other Places (Candid, 2021)
- This is a re-recording of one of her songs from the 2007 album "Breakfast on the Morning Tram." The song, with lyrics by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, has special relevance during the pandemic.
- Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, "I Get A Kick Out Of You"
Love For Sale (Columbia, 2021)
- This will likely be Bennett's final album after a remarkable 70 years in the music industry. He announced this year that he was retiring from performing, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
- Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force, "Lover Come Back To Me (Romberg/Hammerstein)
Dear Love (Empress Legacy, 2021)
- This album of love songs, both old and new, is Horn's first album with a big band.
- Lady Blackbird, "Blackbird"
Black Acid Soul (Foundation, 2021)
- Lady Blackbird is the pseudonym of singer Marley Munroe, taken from the Nina Simone song "Blackbird." This is one of two recordings this hour of music by Simone.
- Ledisi, "Feeling Good"
Ledisi Sings Nina (Listen Back, 2021)
- Ledisi's Nina Simone tribute album features the famed Metropole Orkest.
- Kurt Elling feat. Charlie Hunter, "Endless Lawns"
SuperBlue (Edition Records, 2021)
- Kurt Elling's latest album features the singer dipping his toes into the musical waters of funk and R&B.
- Caity Gyorgy, "Secret Safe"
Now Pronouncing: Caity Gyorgy (La Reserve, 2021)
- The song "Secret Safe" is an original by up-and-coming Canadian jazz singer Caity Gyorgy. It won the grand prize in the jazz category at the 2021 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
- Laufey, "Like The Movies"
Typical Of Me (Laufey, 2021)
- "Like The Movies" is another original song, by the Icelandic jazz singer Laufey. Both her song and Gyorgy's song evoke the sounds of the 1940s.
- Kate McGarry + Keith Ganz Ensemble, "On The Road To Find Out"
What To Wear In The Dark (Resilience, 2021)
- Kate McGarry's latest album features mostly newer standards by folks like George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, and the Eagles, all on the theme of finding hope in dark times.
- Cyrille Aimée, Adonis Rose and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, "Petite Fleur"
Petite Fleur (Storyville, 2021)
- Cyrille Aimée's latest album is celebrating her adopted hometown of New Orleans and its connection to her home country of France.
- Michael Stephenson & Alexander Claffy, "Sweet Lorraine"
Michael Stephenson Meets Alexander Claffy with His Trio (Cellar Live, 2021)
- This is the debut vocal album for Michael Stephenson (who has performed under the pseudonym Sonny Step) featuring mostly jazz and traditional pop standards.