Second Tier: Great Women Jazz Singers

I don’t think anyone would argue with the singers we’ve named as the five best (THE BIG FIVE) or the second group we’re cailing SWINGING AND JAZZY, but when it comes to the “second tier’’, selections are not so clear cut. Some of the candidates might have gone into one of the other categories we’ve designated - Dianne Reeves or Nancy Wison, for example. I think Maxine Sullivan and June Christy have historical significance but I must admit that Ernestine Anderson and Carol Sloane are subjective choices.

Image of Peggy LeePeggy Lee (1920–2002) was a jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, whose career spanned seven decades. Several of her compositions became standards.

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image of Maxine Sullivan

Maxine Sullivan (1911–1987) was active for half a century, from the mid-1930s to just before her death in 1987. A precursor to better-known later vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, she is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of the time".

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image of June Christy

June Christy (1925–1990) was known as an innovator of “cool” jazz and for her silky smooth vocals. She started out with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, then pursued a solo career (from 1954) Her best known album is “Something Cool.”

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Image of Ernestine AndersonErnestine Anderson (1928–2016) was equally adept at jazz and blues, recording over 30 albums and nominated four times for a Grammy Award.

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Image of Carol SloaneCarol Sloane (1934­) is one of the finest jazz singers of the post-jazz era, whose strongest influence was Carmen McRae.

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June Christy is best remembered as an innovator in the Cool Jazz genre of the 1950s; her voice—a smoky, slow vibrato, originating deep in the chest—will forever be an important part of The Great American Songbook. Chris Connor, who followed Christy in the Stan Kenton band is also said to be part of the “cool” genre. Christy did not like the label because she thought it meant she was singing with no feeling which she said was not the case.


PEGGY LEE I LOVE BEING HERE WITH YOU


MAXINE SULLIVAN  I CAN”T GET STARTED


TAMPICO JUNE CHRISTY


CAROL SLOANE LOVER COME BACK TO ME