Various Artists

The New Jazz Divas [Shout! Factory]

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While none of the performers on this Shout Factory compilation can be righteously be called “divas,” this is still a pretty hip set of tracks by some of the better-known female jazz vocalists and songwriters of the early 21st century. While names such as Tierney Sutton, Diana Krall, René Marie, and Jane Monheit are familiar to jazz fans for their interpretations of standards, others such Patricia Barber and Eliane Elias are better-known not as singers primarily, but as knotty instrumentalists, composers, and arrangers. Still others included here, such as Madeleine Peyroux, Catherine Russell, and Karrin Allison bring pop to soul to country to their brand of jazz, while Lizz Wright and Ledisi add soul and funk into their mix. Others in this genre, such as Melody Gardot and Esperanza Spalding, are relative newcomers who cross all kinds of genres. This set gives a decent introduction to them all and is well-sequenced to boot.

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