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The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally
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Paavo
Paavo
2007 [Apart]


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A quirky album from Swedish group Paavo and their frontwoman Sofia Jernberg. Make no mistake, however, this is truly a group effort from a very talented, if unusual septet. The record took out jazz record of the year in Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, while Jernberg won a Royal Musical Academy jazz award.





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The Dreamer
José James
2008 [Brownswood]


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Executive producer and Brownswood label founder Gilles Peterson obviously has a good eye for fresh new jazz talent. José James is a soulful, often delicate vocalist who infuses New York street smarts into his music. A bit of studio wizardry is used to multi-track James' voice, and it works to perfection, with all the emphasis in the right places.





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Esperanza
Esperanza Spalding
2008 [Heads Up/Universal]


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Esperanza Spalding's second album is a breakthrough for the talented bassist, vocalist and composer. Showing off her Latin heritage, Spalding sings in three languages... English, Spanish and Portuguese. Notable in support is trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. Spalding leaves no doubt that she is one of the most exciting new talents in jazz.





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In a Dream
Gretchen Parlato
2009 [ObliqSound]


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Vocalist Gretchen Parlato's debut album for independent record label ObliqSound made an almighty splash in the jazz world for good reason. The New York Times said Parlato is: "A jazz singer of deep musical instincts and an appealingly effervescent style." Featuring Lionel Loueke on guitar, fans of vocal jazz can't miss with this one.





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The Mosaic Project
Terri Lyne Carrington
2011 [Concord]


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Terri Lyne Carrington is an outstanding drummer, singer and composer. Here she assembles an all-female cast including Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson, Nona Hendryx, Patrice Rushen, Sheila E, Geri Allen, Tineke Postma, Ingrid Jensen, Helen Sung, Gretchen Parlato, and Esperanza Spalding. Wow!





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Be Good
Gregory Porter
2012 [Motéma]


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Gregory Porter's vocal talents are undeniable as he shows them off in style on his second album. Porter pens nine of the 12 tracks, all demonstrating that he is simultaneously soulful, reflective and romantic. Porter doesn't often go up-tempo, but when he does it is a joy to behold. Recommended for all lovers of modern jazz vocals.





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No Deal
Mélanie de Biasio
2013 [PIAS]


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This fabulous album from Belgian vocalist/flutist Mélanie de Biasio sounds a bit like a soundtrack to a film noir movie. Pianist Pascal Mohy is scary at times, as if danger lurks around every corner. De Biaso can lament with the best of them, but watch out for her bite, because she can snarl like a rabid dog too. Fine singer, great album.





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Dreams and Daggers
Cécile McLorin Salvant
2017 [Mack Avenue]


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This straight-ahead set of standards and originals from American jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant is a joy to behold. So much so that it took out the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Stereophile critic Fred Kaplan enthusiastically called it, "...the best jazz vocal album in a decade, maybe in longer than that." Terrific.


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