Jazz singer Curtis Stigers describes himself as "a storyteller." With his latest album Real Emotional, Stigers tells not only his own stories, but also those of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Randy Newman and others. As we hear from VOA's Doug Levine, Stigers is in peak form on a new collection of songs that mix jazz with pop, rock and even country music.

No one could ever accuse Curtis Stigers of not wanting to broaden his horizons. On his latest release, Stigers goes from being folksy on Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" to downright bluesy on Mose Allison's "Your Mind Is On Vacation."

Stigers always wanted to sing jazz. But rock music got the better of him, and he put jazz vocals on hold while he learned to play drums and saxophone. It was only after moving from his home in Boise, Idaho, to New York City that he began singing in a jazz trio.

Signed to his first major label recording contract at age 26, Stigers was an immediate success with both pop and jazz fans. In addition to his steady output of hit albums, Stigers toured the world singing with Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Clapton, as well as jazz stars George Benson, Diana Krall and Wynton Marsalis.

With his new album Real Emotional, Stigers proves he is a jazz star in his own right.

Standards have always been a Curtis Stigers favorite, with Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" at the top of the list. Also included on Real Emotional are two original songs, plus a tune by Emmylou Harris that Stigers says leaves him weak in the knees whenever she sings it - "I Don't Wanna Talk About It."