In the lexicon of jazz, jazz singer is one term that has frequently been debated. This tends to focus on the constant shifts and varying definitions of the music itself. Some may term certain singers to be blues or even sultry lounge singers while others would say they were actually manifesting a certain aspect of jazz. For someone unfamiliar with this quixotic and ever evolving form of music, it may seem difficult to define or even recognize a female jazz vocalist as such.
The Classic Female Jazz Vocalist Rising to the Top
Some women are indubitably Queens of Jazz. These are often fall into the “Late, Great” category. Yet, fortunately, their music lives on through their recordings – some scratchy and remastered; others crystal clear even if they sang it at an extended age. Who can really dispute the jazz vocalizations of this list of female performers including
*Bessie Smith (1894-1937)
*Ethel Waters (1896-1977)
*Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
*Ela Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
*Lena Horne (1917-2010)
*Dinah Washington (1924-1963)
*Nina Simone (1933-2003)
*Etta James (1938-2012)
It is true that a female jazz vocalist like Billie could also be said to sing the blues but she fused her emotions and feelings through the soul of jazz.
The Cream Rises
Today, you have a large influx of trained and very talented jazz singers. The quality of their voice may range from the sultry and film noir vocalizations of e.g. Sylvia Brooks to the contemporary and even vocal jazz stylings of Diana Krall (1964 -). As is to be found among any musical pack, many have become popular. Others, for unknown reasons have yet to be discovered. It may be the style they adopt that becomes very in and pushes one or more female jazz vocalist or singer to the top. It could be the look combined with an overwhelming talent. Nothing is certain in the world of jazz, but people need to stop and listen to any or all of the following contemporary female jazz singers/vocalists:
*Cassandra Wilson (1955)
*Dee Dee Bridgewater
*Norah Jones (1979)
The Contemporary Female Jazz Vocalist
A female jazz vocalist in today’s world has to be able to do it all. From the cover to the video, they have to look and perform their best. They have to strive to make their mark in a very competitive market. In the long run, only a very few will ever realize the standing in the jazz world of a Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James or Bessie Smith.
If you are looking for a contemporary classic, someone out of a Film Noir movie set, consider the jazz vocal stylings of Sylvia Brooks. Sylvia Brooks is a dramatic singer who looks and sings the role of the sultry and smoky female Jazz Vocalist. To discover more about her and her latest music visit Sylviabrooks.net.