It’s believed that only 1.1% of music consumed in the US is jazz, but this doesn’t stop this genre from being one of the most loved worldwide. And how can it not be when so many jazz singers have left their mark on the world and burrowed their way into fans’ hearts?
If you’ve recently hitched a ride on the jazz-loving bandwagon, you know how captivating jazz music can be. But you may not know a few of the best ones worth checking out.
That’s why, in this blog, we’ll talk about some of the best jazz singers of all time who have soulful, artful, meaningful, and emotionally rhythmic songs worth listening to.
Who Are the Best Often-Forgotten Jazz Musicians of All Time?
Jazz has come a long way since its origins in New Orleans in the early 20th century. Nowadays, there are so many variations of traditional jazz music, but there wouldn’t be without the pioneering music efforts of the jazz singers below.
One of the best US Navy violinists turned jazz singers was Paul Whiteman, whose musical style helped introduce this genre of music to mainstream audiences between the 1920s and 1930s.
Whiteman was often called the “king of jazz” despite sometimes overly simplifying jazz rhythms and allowing little room for improvisations in his arrangements. This rigidness didn’t stop him from being a co-composer of numerous popular songs and leading his orchestra in several Broadway musicals.
Some of his most noteworthy jazz songs include “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Wonderful One,” “Wang Wang Blues,” “Mississippi Mud,” and “Trav’lin’ Light.”
One of the greatest musical movements in American music history was the swing era. This era was fundamentally orchestral and lasted from 1935 until 1945 in the US, producing some of the greatest jazz singers like Anita O’Day.
O’Day was well-known for her daring improvisation, dazzling live performances, and memorable vocals that led to her being coined the nickname “the Jezebel of Jazz.”
Although she had numerous jazz hits during the swing era, her most popular were undoubtedly “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Night and Day” from her album Anita O’Day Swings Cole Porter.
Perhaps no female jazz player is as iconic as Abbey Lincoln, a talented singer, songwriter, and actress who practiced her craft well into her 70s.
Lincoln’s husky alto voice traversed the musical boundaries of jazz. She was among the few female vocalists well known for singing in the hard bop, bebop, and post-bop jazz styles.
Unlike many other, Lincoln used her music to drive awareness toward feminism, racial inequality, and the civil rights movement. She also conceptualized “jazz poetry” and often combined spoken words with her music.
Some of her most famous songs include “Down Here Below,” “Brother Where Are You?” and “Straight Ahead.”
Who Is Considered the Best Often-Forgotten Jazz Singer? The Wrap-Up
Each of these musicians has earned their place in jazz history, but unfortunately, you won’t get to experience their lyrical mastery in person.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for playing a few of their best hits through a sound system. Instead, you can hire a renowned jazz singer with a supporting band like Sharon Marie.
Although she might have had some competition in the past years (we’re looking at Anita O’Day), there’s no jazz singer quite like her in this modern era who can match her sultry voice and charismatic performances.