[Dixielandjazz] Jazz or Ballad singers?

Patrick Cooke patcooke at cox.net
Wed Feb 5 14:24:27 PST 2003

Jazz singers.....or ballad singers masquerading as jazz singers?
   I haven't heard any on the list of Brit singers you mentioned, Jerry, so
I can't say about them.
    Over here we've had true jazz singers, and a number ballad singers who
hired jazz players to accompany them.  They then make a recording, and
though the guys are playing very good jazz accompaniment, the singer is
still just singing a straight original melody ballad.  I have bought some of
these records just to hear the back-up group.  It was worth being bored
through the vanilla vocal to hear the players take their choruses.  The
amazing thing is that these vocalists start being referred to as 'jazz
      Pat Cooke
----- Original Message -----
From: <Jazzjerry at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 2:08 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Jim Beebe / Croakers

> Kaye,
> I think you are being a trifle unfair to Jim Beebe. I like Jim, cannot
> Cleo Laine's singing. I think she has murdered many a decent song in the
> of 'Art'. If you listen to her earlier recordings it is evident that she
is a
> very talented lady and could turn in a nice vocal performance. However
> the years her talents have been directed to this stange, and to my mind
> exceedingly unpleasant, 'vocalese' which to me absolutely ruins any song
> which it is directed. She might have a very wide vocal range but so had
> Sumac(SP) and she wasn't a jazz singer.
> Just in the same way as I cannot abide the upper note trumpet screeching
> the likes of Maynard Ferguson I avoid listening to Ms Laine's efforts
> particularly when the aim seems to be effect rather than substance.
> And Judy I certainly agree with you following statement, "The
> imitators sound just that; self conscious "ooblings" sometimes tacked on
> the end of an otherwise fairly traditional rendition.  If Cleo Laine is
> responsible for encouraging the imitators, she should be sentenced to a
> listening to out of tune trombones". There are some very good young
> jazz singers around at the moment such as Clare Teal, Joan Viscant, Diane
> Nahlini (plus yourself of course) but equally there are those who follow
> Laine path. Their albums are usually easy to spot when the arrive in the
> store. The back cover usually has at least one Art Council logo and the
> personnel listing states "Minnie Bannister - Voice" rather than 'Vocals"!
> It would seem that discussions on vocalists on the DJML usually manages to
> provoke more steam than almost any other topic and probably more than any
> other topic in jazz the liking or disliking of any particular singer is a
> very personal matter.
> Nearly as steamy as the string bass versus brass bass discussions of a few
> years ago!
> Cheers,
> Jerry,
> Norwich,
> U.K.
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