I said I had an extra list so here we go, Dan counting down his top 5 vocal jazz tracks of all time. What? Where did I say that? Oh, well right here on the latest episode of the worldwide podcast Fairly Kickass: The Podcast that was once described.
See, I did say I’d do this. Anyway, here we go.
#5 – Ella Fitzgerald – Someone to Watch Over Me
Ella Fitzgerald has to be a part of any list like this and for some reason, this was the first song of hers that I clearly remember so it holds this place in my brain. I’m sure you could make an argument that she has better but this is my list and I like her treatment of it.
#4 – Sarah Vaughan – Lullaby of Birdland
Vaughn’s voice is one of the silkiest every put to vinyl, but she is at her absolute best here. This entire record is simply phenomenal.
#3 – Nina Simone – Feeling Good
Yes of course the Michael Buble version is a cover. A cleaned up and sterilized cover. In Simone’s hands, this song written for a musical goes from a lighter track with a children’s chorus to an anthemic banger powered by big band horns and Simone’s enormous voice.
#2 – Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto – The Girl from Ipanema
You may find this and odd choice but this song has an incredible pedigree since it’s first recording back in 1964. In fact, it’s one of the most recorded songs of all time. I could say a lot about this song, but Adam Neely has a ton of far more interesting insight into this one. A lot of music nerditry and theory here, but well worth the watch.
Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit (This is only on this part of the list because the guys put it on their and probably did it more justice than I could, so listen to them)
Etta James – At Last
Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine
#1 – Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington – It’s Don’t Mean A Think (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
This is simply one of the best compositions of all time from two of the most talented musicians to ever do it. Check out the entire Great Summit record.