Spotlighting both jazz singers and R&B-minded vocalists on the jazz tip, Atlantic Jazz: Singers delivers a mostly generous and stunning mix spanning the late '40s to the mid-'80s. From the traditional jazz camp, top songbirds Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McCrae, Helen Merrill, Chris Connor, Peggy Lee, and Betty Carter all hit their spots in fine fashion. Showing they had also heard a few Ella Fitzgerald sides in their formative years, such R&B chanteuses as Ruth Brown, Esther Phillips, LaVern Baker, and Aretha Franklin roll out a smooth line or two as well. And not to forget the boys, the producers pepper the gal-heavy fare with choice sides by Ray Charles, Mel Tormé, Al Hibbler, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Mose Allison, among others; there's even a bit of bossa nova from João Gilberto. Regrettable work by Sylvia Syms and the Manhattan Transfer aside, this collection makes for a nice complement to all those golden vocal offerings on Capitol and Verve.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook