Albums review Greta Matassa, “Portrait” (Origin Records) Kelley Johnson, “Something Good” (OA2 Records) Two artists indelibly linked to Tula’s Restaurant & Jazz Club, which is closing at the end of this month, are Seattle’s best female jazz singers — Greta Matassa and Kelley Johnson — who both celebrated the release of new albums at the club this summer. Where they will debut their next albums is an open question, but in the meantime, we have CDs by a pair of local vocalists working at the top of their game. Both Matassa and Johnson are genuine jazz singers — they improvise, they swing, they draw deeply from the blues — but they could not be more different. If you like astrology, Matassa is earth, Johnson, air. Both are fiery, but Matassa shoots from the gut, punching listeners with Aretha-like cries, a quick vibrato and theatrical builds, à la Nancy Wilson. Johnson, inspired by Betty Carter, is … [Read more...] about Review: Album releases by Greta Matassa and Kelley Johnson show two Seattle jazz singers at the top of their game
Female jazz singers
Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Obituaries Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Today's Paper Advertisement Supported by ByNeil Genzlinger Aug. 15, 2018 Before March 1972, Morgana King was known as a jazz singer with an impressive vocal range and an ability to put a distinctive spin on an eclectic selection of songs. But by late that month, although she remained an accomplished singer, millions of moviegoers thought of her as Vito Corleone’s wife. Ms. King had never been in a feature film before playing Mama Corleone in “The Godfather,” which after its release that month became one of the most acclaimed movies of all time. She was in “Godfather II” as well and had a smattering of other television and film credits, but music was always her passion. She had been singing since she was a teenager and had a breakthrough in 1964 with her much-admired version of “A Taste of Honey,” … [Read more...] about Morgana King, Jazz Singer and ‘Godfather’ Actor, Is Dead at 87
Graciela Perez-Gutierrez, the legendary Afro-Cuban jazz singer who blazed the trail for Hispanic pop stars like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, died Wednesday after being hospitalized in New York for several weeks. She was 94.Graciela, or "Gracie" to her friends, "was where it all started," said Bobby Sanabria, who played on three of her records. "Without her, there is no Celia Cruz or La Lupe or any of the stars today."Born in Havana, Perez-Gutierrez began performing with the all-female Orquestra Anacaona, where she played bass and sang. In 1942, she became the first woman to front a major tropical band when she moved to New York to sing with the Afro-Cuban orchestra led by her stepbrother Machito. She performed primarily with Machito and her brother-in-law Mario Bauza for decades."She had a beautiful voice," said radio host Paco. "She could sing anything, boleros to salsa, and as soon as she started to sing, you knew just who it was."She leaves no immediate family but is survived by … [Read more...] about Graciela Perez-Grillo, legendary Afro-Cuban jazz singer, dies at age 94
Fresh off a tour in Germany, four-time Grammy award-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves turns to love of the mature variety Friday in the first of two evenings in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall. Love is one reason Reeves performs each year at Jazz at Lincoln Center. "I love New York City," she says, "because there's something to do 24-7, something that will make you see things in a whole different light. Like they say: it's the city that never sleeps." She also favors the New York audience. "There are always very sophisticated listeners. I love the audiences because they're active listeners," she says. "They really hear every subtle nuance." Reeves has explored love and emoption over the course of her career, starting with her first recording, "Welcome to My Love," in 1977. Her most recent effort, "When You Know "(2008), was a reflection of the love she has come to know. "That's something that's abiding, uncompromising and compassionate," she told Jazz.com when the … [Read more...] about Dianne Reeves interview: Jazz singer favors ‘sophisticated’ New York audience
Nancy Wilson, whose skilled and flexible approach to singing provided a key bridge between the sophisticated jazz-pop vocalists of the 1950s and the powerhouse pop-soul singers of the 1960s and ‘70s, died Thursday at her home in Pioneertown, California. She was 81. Wilson’s death, which came after a long illness, was confirmed by her manager, Devra Hall Levy. In her long and celebrated career, Wilson performed American standards, jazz ballads, Broadway show tunes, R&B torch songs and middle-of-the-road pop pieces, all delivered with a heightened sense of a song’s narrative. “I have a gift for telling stories, making them seem larger than life,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1993. “I love the vignette, the plays within the song.” Some of Wilson’s best-known recordings told tales of heartbreak, with attitude. A forerunner of the modern female empowerment singer, with the brassy inflections and biting inflections to fuel it, Wilson … [Read more...] about Jazz singer Nancy Wilson dies at 81; she turned songs into stories
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