Following my recent post on my top Classical albums of 2015, let me now follow up with my top 5 Vocal Jazz albums for this year.
Note there are a couple of “only” four star albums here, which means I don’t consider them absolutely essential. That said, I very much like all of the below and would recommend them without hesitation.
Cecile McLorin Salvant: For One To Love (Mack Avenue 2015)
My Jazz album of the year by an outstanding young talent (review here). I’ve seen her live and this was probably one of my best concerts of the year .
Sarah McKenzie: We Could Be Lovers (Impulse 2015)
Sarah McKenzie is my other discovery of this year (reviewed here). Less innovative than Cecile McLorin Salvant, she does just old fashioned 1960-style vocal jazz. The thing is, she does it with so much charm and also includes her own originals, I’m convinced we’ll continue hearing from this young artist.
If you can catch her live as I did (see here), go for it, she’s even better live than on this album.
Cassandra Wilson: Coming Forth By Day (Legacy Records 2015)
I’ve said it before, I have a love-hate relationship with Cassandra Wilson. Quite often, she just gets too close to a style that I just don’t like. On this Billie Holiday album, all is well from my perspective (see my review here).
Melody Gardot: Currency of Man (Universal 2015)
To be fair, this is more Soul than Jazz, but in any case, I really like this album. See my review here.
Autour de Nina (Verve 2015)
A beautiful Nina Simone Tribute album from a variety of artists. One of my favorite vocal jazz albums of the year, reviewed here.