Sunday, January 30, 2005

Oh Kate, where are ye?

I came to thinking the other day, "What in the hell happened to Kate Bush? Where is she?". Kate Bush is one of my favorite musical artists and I own all of her albums. She released her last album, The Red Shoes, in 1994. It's been eleven years and I've never really bothered to find out what happened to her. I went online and discovered that in the last eleven years she has had a son and raised him. Good excuse. But I also discovered, to my merriment, that she will be releasing a new album in 2005. Outf'instanding! I'm really looking forward to it and I'm curious to see how eleven years has affected her voice.

This also got me to thinking about some of my other favorite female vocalists. I've decided to put together a list of 10 of my favorite female vocalists. These are singers that I think are amazingly talented and have truly beautiful voices. I will be excluding obvious choices such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sara Vaughan, Nina Simone, Etta James, Jessye Norman, and Kathleen Battle (and all other opera singers). The singers listed above have proven their talent and ability to the world, but it would not be fair to the rest of them. Here are 10 of my favorite singers in no particular order (based solely on their voices).

1. Joni Mitchell (Okay, this one is in order. Joni's voice is stunning and the her range in the early years was incomprensible.)
2. Sinead O'Connor (Say what you will about her, but her voice is amazing. Listen to The Lion and the Cobra and her range, passion, power, and subtlety will floor you.)
3. Bjork (Her solo stuff is great and everyone knows that she's got a dynamic range, but listen to Life's Too Good by the Sugarcubes and you'll scratch your head and say "Holy crap!".)
4. Kirsty MacColl (Truly underrated. She should have been a huge star, but her untimely death prevented any chance of that. An awesome live performer.)
5. Etta Jones (Sweet, soulful, and the definition of a female jazz vocalist. A powerhouse. Her version of "At Last" will make you weep.)
6. Annie Ross (A great female jazz vocalist. She's solo now, but used to be in Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Imagine a female Tom Waits. She has a sexy smokiness to her voice.)
7. Kate Bush (Duh! Listen to the Hounds of Love and free your mind. Her vocal range is amazing!)
8. Buffy Sainte-Marie (Warm and comforting with mindblowing vibrato!)
9. Marianne Faithfull (Soulful and sexy.)
10. Jane Siberry (Another truly underrated performer.)
11. Kristen Hersh (Go back to her early days in the Throwing Muses and listen to House Tornado or Hunkpapa and you'll see why she's on this list.)
12. Sarah McLachlan (Simply a great vocalist. I used to be really into her, but I don't listen to her as much as I used to. The talent is still there, though.)
13. Tori Amos (Another amazing singer that I don't listen to much anymore. Her singing is truly passionate with power and subtlety.)
14. Laetitia Sadier (Soothing and warm. Her voice is comforting like a warm blanket. She's in Stereolab in case you don't know.)
15. Exene Cervenka (A punk priestess who can actually sing. Powerful and focused.)

Okay. I lied. That's fifteen. Sue me.

Today's wine recommendation- 2003 Parson's Flat $39.99
This big red is a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and comes from the Padthaway district in South Australia. It's made by the dynamic wine-making duo of Sarah and Sparky Marquis. The nose has impressive notes of blackberry, licorice, raspberry, and dark chocolate and it's laden with dripping black fruit on the palate with notes of anise, dark chocolate, and vanillin. This wine packs a whollop! Great stuff! Try with grilled lamb chops, short ribs, or venison with a blackberry sauce.

Until the next bottle...

Cheers,
Jason

2 Comments:

Blogger Brian P said...

Don't you mean Etta James, not Etta Jones

3:20 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Perl,
Nope. Etta Jones, who covers "At Last" which was made famous by Etta James.
Jason

9:20 PM  

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