Best of JHO

Luciana Souza: Passion and Versatility

Few contemporary vocalists have the stylistic range of Luciana Souza. She is a remarkable improviser and composer who can not only offer passionate interpretations of songs from America and Brazil, but is also a collaborator with contemporary classical composer Osvaldo Golijov. Thomas Cunniffe introduces you to Souza in this JHO profile, which includes audio and video clips of Souza at work.

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Jo Stafford: “Jo + Jazz” (Corinthian 108)

Jo Stafford never considered herself a jazz singer, but her 1960 Columbia LP Jo + Jazz shows us what might have been. Arranged and conducted by Johnny Mandel, and featuring an all-star band made up of Ellington veterans and West Coast jazz stalwarts, Stafford performs the most jazz-infused performances of her career. Thomas Cunniffe revisits this vocal jazz classic in this month’s Retro Review.

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Mel, Marty & the Dek-tette

The recorded collaborations between vocalist Mel Tormé and arranger Marty Paich were arguably the highlights of each man’s career. The albums they recorded with a 10-piece studio ensemble, the Marty Paich Dek-tette are some of the finest vocal LPs ever made. Thomas Cunniffe’s study of this music was originally part of his Master’s Thesis, and has been published on several websites over the past two decades. This newly-revised edition of the article marks its first appearance on Jazz History Online.

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The Unedited Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond’s blazing improvisation on The Way You Look Tonight (from the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s album Jazz at Oberlin) has long been considered one of the saxophonist’s greatest solos. An alert JHO reader discovered that the solo was edited when transferred from 10 LP to EP and 12 LP. In this Sidetracks feature, Thomas Cunniffe notes that the edit completely changes the feel of the solo. Both versions are embedded in this article.

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Timme Rosenkrantz and the Town Hall Concert (June 9, 1945)

The June 9, 1945 Town Hall concert produced by Timme Rosenkrantz was ostensibly a celebration of small group swing, featuring Red Norvo, Gene Krupa, Bill Coleman, Teddy Wilson, Don Byas and Stuff Smith. However, there were elements of the newly emerging bebop style for anyone who was listening. Thomas Cunniffe discusses the music and tells of the concert’s fascinating back story in this month’s Sidetracks.

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Tony Bennett/Bill Charlap: “The Silver Lining” (RPM/Columbia 14574)

While he hasn’t always taken the best care of his voice, at 89, Tony Bennett is still at the top of his game. His remarkable new Jerome Kern tribute disc, The Silver Lining (co-led with pianist Bill Charlap) is a virtual master class of fine interpretation and vocal finesse. In this feature review, Thomas Cunniffe describes the many wonders located on this disc.

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