The ten best male jazz vocalists of all time

Categories: Jazz, Lists

021914_armstrong-001.jpg
wikimedia

While Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme made singing jazz standards part of their repertoire, some consider them to be more from the crooners school. Here we've put together a list of the ten of the best male singers who excelled in jazz, whether it be scat singing, vocalese or just having an incredibly distinguishable voice. Keep reading for the ten best male jazz vocalists of all time.

See also: The ten best female jazz vocalists of all time

10. Mose Allison
There wasn't a whole lot of singing on Mose Allison's 1957 debut, Back Country Suite, but it gives a good idea of his burgeoning relaxed vocal delivery, as well as his strong piano skills. While Allison clearly has a deep affinity for bop on the disc, he also shows his love for the blues, especially on "One Room Country Shack." Since then, Allison has released some great recordings where he delves into both jazz and blues realms.

9. Jimmy Scott
One of the most intriguing voices in jazz, Jimmy Scott -- sometimes know as Little Jimmy Scott -- has a peculiarly high voice due to Kallmann syndrome, a condition that stunted his growth and prevented him from experiencing puberty. His '60s Savoy releases, in particular, are great, especially The Fabulous Songs of Jimmy Scott. While his singing career took a back seat to various jobs for the next few decades, his career had something of a re-birth after singing at the funeral of his friend, the legendary Doc Pomus in 1991, and Scott went on to release some outstanding albums since then, like Holding Back the Years and The Source.

8. Mark Murphy
While he was born when some of the singers on this list were just starting out their careers, Mark Murphy got his start as a pop singer during the '50s and soon delved into jazz, taking a few cues from Jon Hendricks, and Murphy developed his own brand of vocalese. He released a number of albums under his own name, including his 1956 Verve debut, Meet Mark Murphy, and one of his finest recordings, 1978's Stolen Moments. Along the way, he picked up six Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Sarah Tonso
Sarah Tonso

Yes cause only males could possibly be the best...why limit it to gender?

Leah Welborn
Leah Welborn

Male only? John Coltrane (Love Supreme), then Chet Baker.

pscully1
pscully1

Jimmy Scott needs to be higher on that list

Erin Maguire Pettitt
Erin Maguire Pettitt

I had to double check that this was really Westword doing an article that isn't about weed or criminals mug shots.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...