Jazz has had its share of legendary divas. There was Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and of course, the "First Lady Of Song," Ella Fitzgerald. So, where are today's great divas? Look no further than the new compilation album from Putumayo World Music, Women Of Jazz.
"Stay in school" was probably the best advice singer Kate Paradise ever got. She holds a graduate degree in vocal performance, which set her on the path to a dual career as a music teacher and recording artist. Still in her twenties, Kate proves you are never too young to appreciate an enduring jazz standard.
Standards are the order of the day for most of the Women Of Jazz. Classically-trained singer and trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick didn't let age keep her from tackling the transcendent "Lover Man."
Hartswick delivers a moody but meaningful interpretation of a ballad often associated with Billie Holiday.
If ballads are the cornerstone of a jazz singer's repertoire, Stacey Kent makes a strong case for the perennial Broadway show tune with "Shall We Dance?" Kent's rendition of "Shall We Dance?" first appeared on her 2002 tribute album to composer Richard Rodgers.
Rounding out the lineup on Putumayo Presents Women Of Jazz are relative newcomers Melody Gardot, Hope Waits, Madeleine Peyroux and Sophie Milman, as well as seasoned divas Cassandra Wilson, Etta Jones and Della Griffin.
Ms. Griffin, whose career dates back to singing doo-wop with The Enchanters in the 1950s, relives the golden age of jazz with "It Could Happen To You."