In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

Home | Doo Wop | Barbershop | World | Contemporary | Christian | Vocal Jazz | Choral | Christmas | Instructional | Arrangements

Leslie Gourse
Sophisticated Ladies - The Great Women of Jazz

Bessie Smith
Ethel Waters
Mildred Bailey
Mabel Mercer
Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Anita O'Day
Peggy Lee
Dinah Washington
Sarah Vaughn
Rosemary Cloony
Cassandra Wilson
Diana Krall

This lively collective biography of 14 singers begins in the 1920s with Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters and moves on through current performers Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall. A vibrant, full-page portrait opens each chapter, depicting the performer with bold vitality, in a style suggestive of a theater poster. Gourse mentions the singers' childhoods and backgrounds and traces the influences on and course of their careers, not shying away from the poverty, health issues, addictions, and chaotic lifestyles experienced by many of them. Her descriptions of their individual styles are particularly apt, whether of Peggy Lee, rarely singing a note louder than needed or Anita O'Day, her dry, husky voice slurring the melody as she handled a variety of songs. The spot-on discography points students to the best-known songs of each artist.

Item code: 5156B | Book | $19.95 add item to cart
Vocal Jazz  | Hardcover | 8 x 11

Related: Southern Gospel