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The Pleasure of Their Company

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The Pleasure of Their Company

It can seem as intimate as a dinner for two or as engulfing as a banquet at the Ritz, You can be taken to the moon or left alone at the ocean. “It” is the experience of a female jazz artist. Throughout the years, these women have enchanted us, challenged us and brought to levels of emotional experience we rarely find in our daily lives. In a small cabaret or a concert hall, the moment can be intimate or shared with all. Sometimes she is singing just for you. Other times she makes you one with crowd and you like it.

Composers have written for Female Jazz Artists almost from the start of the 20th century. The blues were as defined by Bessie Smith as by any of her male colleagues and by the time of the 1930’s and 1940’s, women were singing Jazz across the country and around the world. American female Jazz Artists found an acceptance in Europe – especially France where Josephine Baker among others was not only able to dance her way into the hearts of her audience but brought new Jazz to Paris.

The demands on the Female Jazz Artist are in many ways exactly the same as the demands on the jazz pianist or saxophonist. These are demands of the art itself: the requirements that one must be faithful to the composition, aware of its potential for variation, sensitive to the attributes of your voice and how they might best express new feelings, new joys or deeper sorrows. Consider the ways in which Ella Fitzgerald might take a 32 bar song and stretch its three minutes to twelve so that we feel as if all meaning and emotion in the have been explored and expressed. We have share with her as she plays with the notes, the rhythms, the inflections and often the words until the performance itself is the art we came to hear.

And that intimacy. It is magic in itself. Peggy Lee so close to the microphone that she seems by your side, soft and close and caring the velvet ice of Stacy Kent. The Female Jazz Artist reaches into the meaning of the song and beyond, she finds deeper meanings in her soul and she takes these and turns them into music.

There are popular song classicists who seem to feel that if a Female Vocalist or her male counterpart, improvises on the tune or even the words that she has shown a lack of respect for the composer and sometimes the lyricist. These are often the same people who thrill at a new “interpretation” of Beethoven or Shostakovitch where the tempos are are slower or faster or the orchestral textures are changed. They miss the point when it comes to Female Jazz vocalists. For these women and their fellow performers, there is no greater respect than to show the possibilities of improvisation hidden in the “primary” melody and many composers have always understood that even if the critics do not.

When you get the chance, on cd, mp3 or live, enter into a journey with another Female Jazz Vocalist.

Resource Box: To know more information about Female Jazz Vocalist in CA, Contact Sylvia Brooks.

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