Saturday, December 27, 2008

Harska who?

Here are the 107 singers selected by critics and journalists [update: I am mistaken in this notion. In fact, most of the participants are merely hard core vocal fans, or---if you will---maniacs] in the current Jazz Critique (Japan) mag (see previous post) as being the best post-1980 jazz singers:
Karrin Allyson, Eden Atwood x 2, Patricia Barber, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Margaret Bengston, Cheryl Bentyne, Mario Biondi, Erin Bode, Jimmer Bolden, Richard Bona, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Karlie Bruce, Michael Buble, Ann Hampton Calloway, Mike Campbell, Eva Cassidy, Catia, Natalie Cole, Eric Comstock, Dee Daniels, Dena DeRose, Diana, Sally Doherty, Donald Douglass, Eliane Elias x 2, Kurt Elling x 2, Jenny Evans, Michael Feinstein, Fleurine, Laura Fygi, Danielle Gaha x 2, Roberta Gambarini x 2, Sara Gazarek, Natalie Gardiner, Siri Gjaere, Arthur H, Bruce Bruce Hamada, Jennifer Hanson, Mary Cleere Haran, Stephanie Haynes, Nicole Henry x 2, Diane Hubka x 2, Sanae Ishikawa, Jose James, Masaki Kanamaru, Stacey Kent x 2, Rebecca Kilgore, Carol Kidd, Diana Krall x 2, Carolyn Leonhart, Leslie Lewis, Josefine Lindstrand, Lisa Lombardo, Lyambiko, Katrine Madsen, Kevin Mahogany x 2, Monica Mancini, Claire Martin x 2, Carolyn Martin, Rebecca Martin, Greta Matassa x 2, MAYA x 2, Robin McKelle, Chris McNulty, Naoko Mizuki, Sophie Millman, Yvonne Monnett, Jane Monheit x 2, Yasuko Nakatani x 2, Silje Nergaard, Patricia, Sofia Pettersson, Madeleine Peyroux, John Pizzarelli, Polly Podewell, Rachel Price, John Proulx, Diane Reeves, Kurt Reichenbach, Rene Marie, Terrie Richards, Hanna Richardson, Judy Roberts, Jackie Ryan, Miranda Sage, Kozue Saito, Spider Saloff, Ann Sally, Janet Seidel, Kendra Shank, Ian Shaw, Janet Seidel, Daryl Sherman, Beverly Staunton, Zara Tellander, Asako Toki, Junko Tosaka, A Tres, Sachal Vasandani, Harska Veronika, Joan Vishkant, Roseanna Vitro, Carol Welsman, Weslia Whitfield, Hiroko Williams, Edna Zari.
In separate sections of the mag, some other newer singers also received favorable mention. They are:
Akiko, Karen Aoki, Takako Afuso, Jackie Allen, Hilde Louise Asbjornsen, Chie Ayado, Joyce Breach, Jeri Brown, Donna Byrne, Ann Hampton Callaway, Amanda Carr, Claire Chevalier, Fay Claassen, Holy Cole, Jamie Cullum, Dee Daniels, Melanie de Biasio, Lisa Ekdahl, Connie Evingson, Calabria Foti, Carol Fredette, Crystal Gayle, Rigmor Gustafsson, Kelly Harland, Joe Henry, Marika Hiraga, Yasuko Hirata, Robin Holcomb, Norah Jones, Rebecca Kilgore, Kei Kobayashi, Keiko Lee, Lovisa, Janice Mann, Kate McGarry, Robin McKelle, Olivia, Rachel Price, Leon Redbone (?), Kate Reid, Alice Ricciardi, Linda Ronstadt, Rosey, Kaori Saiki, Woong San, June Tabor, Laura Taylor, Tiffany, Asako Toki, Viktoria Tolstoy, Haresa Veronika, Cleveland Watkiss, Phillip Weiss, Cassandra Wilson, Sumiko Yoseyama, Keico Yoshida
I'LL do the math: the grand total of singers mentioned is 163 (107 + 56), nearly all of whom only showed up ONCE on the lists of these thirty-three (mostly) Japanese jazz critics and journalists. Some of the choices are dubious as to their being post-1980, most namely Leon Redbone, who surely goes back to the mid-1960s.
It's curious that the most successful young singer of the past decade, Michael Buble, received only one nod. And not much more for the high profile Diana Krall. And zip, nada for the popular U.S. singer, Tierney Sutton.
The bottom line is. . .it was a bad year for singers whose last names begin with Q & U. That's just about the only conclusion I can come to, except that all the advert hustling and PR shilling in the world is for naught when it comes to trying to mold a consensus among serious Japanese devotees of jazz singing.
I try to stay on top of things, but as I noted in my previous post, I am unfamiliar with most of the singers cited. Harska who?


Anonymous said...

A trivial point, but...

Leon Redbone first surfaced in the early 1970s.

Anonymous said...

Making lists of the top 100 of anything is right at the top of my top ten list of useless activities.