The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

From the author of A Bio­graph­i­cal Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers—an illu­mi­nat­ing, deeply per­son­al sur­vey of the great­est twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry jazz and pop albums: the gold stan­dard for gen­er­a­tions of musi­cians, singers, and listeners.

Each of the fifty-sev­en albums Will Fried­wald dis­cuss­es here cap­tures the artist at the best, though not nec­es­sar­i­ly the expect­ed, moment of her or his career. Here are first albums (Mar­i­lyn Maye’s Meet Mar­velous Mar­i­lyn Maye) and final works (Fred Astaire’s The Astaire Sto­ry). Here are albums by vet­er­an singers enter­ing new phas­es (Peg­gy Lee’s Black Cof­fee, Nina Simone’s Nina Simone and Piano!, Car­men McRae’s As Time Goes By: Live at the Dug); albums from artists who daz­zle with their typ­i­cal sound (Ella Fitzger­ald’s Lul­la­bies of Bird­land); and albums from the likes of Frank Sina­tra that mark mile­stones in the his­to­ry of Amer­i­can musi­cal cul­ture. Fried­wald con­sid­ers how singers and musi­cians shaped and orga­nized their extra­or­di­nary col­lec­tions of songs, reveal­ing per­son­al sto­ries of the singers’ suc­cess­es and fail­ures, both before and after their ground­break­ing albums, apprais­ing each album by bal­anc­ing his opin­ions with those of fel­low musi­cians, lis­ten­ers, and crit­ics. A mon­u­men­tal achieve­ment, The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums will be a must-read for all lovers of Amer­i­can jazz and pop­u­lar music.

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