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Thread: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

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    Default Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    The daughter of a friend sent us a note, under the momentarily alarming subject heading "K***** needs help."

    So to first explain the situation, we have some Friday night jam sessions at
    the house where we all pick up an instrument and play music. Some really
    good musicians are joining us these days. I think it would be really fun to
    explore jazz, but I don't know where to start. I'm interested in singing
    jazz, but nothing too insane in terms of vocals, something raspy or soft,
    soulful.
    Who should I look too? What would be something easy to start off
    with? Your advice and input would be greatly appreciated.
    I had some ideas, but thought you guys might have more. Do you?

    Something breathy, not too far from "speaking voice"...few dynamics, no hateful melisma...

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Great choice for her, Donn. Sarah Vaughan's bearing onstage actually reminds of this girl, although her delivery would be more like Astrud Gilberto's, unornamented & without much vibrato. I love how Laila Kinnunen hits the low notes.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    I'd forgotten how many great guitar solos were done of this song. Earl Klugh and George Benson, to name only two.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Another song to consider: Killing Me Softly

    Another artist to consider: Phoebe Snow

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Some of Blossom Dearies songs would suit too. "Peel me a Grape" I saw her several times out here and love her work.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPzt3A4Se_U

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Donn View Post
    Another song to consider: Killing Me Softly

    Another artist to consider: Phoebe Snow
    Phoebe Snow! Some of the stuff on that first album might be inspiring to her...San Francisco Bay Blues, Poetry Man, Either or Both of Me.

    I just ran across this lovable swingy version of "It Had to be You": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1G-h...eature=related

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Tom Waits' "New Coat of Paint" is a great bluesy one, easy to interpret for a newer artist ... though Waits' own voice isn't quite what she'd want to hear. Have her listen to Bob Seger's cover of it instead.
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Nora Jones

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    The things you find, when you're looking for something else.

    I went looking for a nice live version of Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares for Me," expecting to hear the fabulous backbeat of the original recording. Instead, I landed on this: Nina doing My Baby at Montreux

    Blown away by that, I slipped sideways into another memorable Montreux moment: Nina on Janis Joplin.

    Wow!

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Marlena Shaw




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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Tupelo Honey -
    Cassandra Wilson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSwsdh_TMrs

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Tupelo Honey -
    Cassandra Wilson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSwsdh_TMrs
    Bingo. - If you have Spotify, explore some of the alternative takes - Van Morrison, Shaye and Chet Lott fr'instance.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 02-17-2011 at 03:01 PM.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Jazz means different things to different people. It's not a homogenous genre.

    She might want to consider focusing on choosing a couple of songs, as opposed to immitating a specific artist. If she isn't familiar with jazz, then she may want to start by simply listening.

    Pandora radio is an excellent resource. Plug in some of the names of singers mentioned in this thread, add Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and she'll get hundreds of great songs.

    Then there are the traditional jazz standards for singers: The Way You Look Tonight, My Funny Valentine, Autumn Leaves, Love for Sale, Willow Weep for Me, Summertime, Lover Man, All the Things You Are, You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To, I was Doin' Alright, Night and Day, Every Time We Say Goodbye, My One and Only Love, Bye Bye Blackbird, Let's Fall in Love, How Long Has This Been Going On, What's New, If I Were A Bell, etc.

    Another good place to start would be the Songbook albums by Ella Fitzgerald -- She recorded the Gershwin songbook, and also the Jerome Kern songbook.

    These suggestions reflect my bias toward standards as the best starting point.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    If this is for a jam session doing familiar songs would be good - second the vote for standards.

    another option:
    "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken." (stolen from TomF )

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    mine:
    "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken." (stolen from TomF )

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Moondance, by Van Morrison

    My favorite things, from the Sound of Music.

    Slow down the tempo and work the beat and the held notes. 3/4 time is a great way to learn jazz singing (or instrumental soloing, for that matter); the natural syncopation of 3/4 time is easy to swing.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Everything But The Girl's acoustic cover of Tom Wait's Downtown Train. Also, their own song Fascination.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    Il colore del cielo, la forza del mare.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rosen View Post
    She might want to consider focusing on choosing a couple of songs, as opposed to immitating a specific artist.
    Definitely. There wouldn't have been much jazz around the house when she was growing up...Mom's a metalhead, and Dad likes techno & house. She's been singing for years with her li'l Montreal hipster friends, in a sort of open-hearted Indie pop style, I think.

    I'm not going to drop the Great American Songbook in her lap. I just want a few things that might make her say: "I could do that!"

    Of course, life moves quickly at that age, so it might not take root. A couple of months ago, she and her Mom were taking country music for a spin (I guess that didn't work out). I love these guys.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rosen View Post
    Pandora radio is an excellent resource..
    Pandora has been blocked in Canada for the past four years.

    As I mentioned in a recent thread, I really like Grooveshark for locating particular tunes. It also serves as a Pandora-style internet radio channel, but really excels at search.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    I'd bet her hipster friends would approve of Billie Holliday. Lots of bluesy songs. And she's got a story and pathos to go with it. Plus Billie would really annoy the crap out of her metalhead and techno parents--always a plus for a teenager. (I'd be glad to contribute to the annoyance of metal heads and technos, myself.) Real jazz is the antithesis to metal and especially techno.

    If she really wants to annoy her parents, she should get a copy of the Lush Life album by Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane. I have it on good information that for teenage hipster jazz musicians, the only tune they actually know the words to is Lush Life.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Lush Life, Billy Strayhorn

    I used to visit all the very gay places
    Those come what may places
    Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
    To get the feel of life...
    From jazz and cocktails.


    The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
    With distant gay traces
    That used to be there you could see where they'd been washed away
    By too many through the day...
    Twelve o'clock tales.


    Then you came along with your siren of song
    To tempt me to madness!
    I thought for a while that your poignant smile was tinged with the sadness
    Of a great love for me.


    Ah yes! I was wrong...
    Again,
    I was wrong.


    Life is lonely again,
    And only last year everything seemed so sure.
    Now life is awful again,
    A troughful of hearts could only be a bore.
    A week in paris will ease the bite of it,
    All I care is to smile in spite of it.


    I'll forget you, I will
    While yet you are still burning inside my brain.
    Romance is mush,
    Stifling those who strive.
    I'll live a lush life in some small dive...
    And there I'll be, while I rot
    With the rest of those whose lives are lonely, too..

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Scott Rosen: "she should get a copy of the Lush Life album by Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane."
    Oh yeah! What a great suggestion. Worth it just for the phrasing. Be a bit careful with a young voice though, let her use her natural voice, not attempt to emulate an adult voice tempered by age, late nights, alchohol and tobacco. Opera singers voices don't mature till they are 30 odd, I think that jazz singers are the same, As a teen she may find it some time before she finds her true voice. Good luck to her and I look forward to hearing her work one day.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Lush Life - Ronstadt

    Ronstadt's covered a heap of great old torch songs.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    How much does she actually want to do jazz? As in the harmonies and scales of Coltrane or Miles ... and the vocal stylings of Billie Holliday, Ella, or Nina Simone? Or how much is she just into not-commercial-rock?

    The water can get pretty deep. You figure she can swim already, or would appreciate a bit of time in the shallow end first?
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Taylor View Post
    Definitely. There wouldn't have been much jazz around the house when she was growing up...Mom's a metalhead, and Dad likes techno & house. She's been singing for years with her li'l Montreal hipster friends, in a sort of open-hearted Indie pop style, I think.

    I'm not going to drop the Great American Songbook in her lap. I just want a few things that might make her say: "I could do that!"

    Of course, life moves quickly at that age, so it might not take root. A couple of months ago, she and her Mom were taking country music for a spin (I guess that didn't work out). I love these guys.


    Well, no reason some of the country standards can't be converted to Jazz and if she already knows her way around a few of them......
    We don't know how lucky we are....

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Maybe not Jazz, but raspy, soft and soulful

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Donn View Post
    Maybe not Jazz, but raspy, soft and soulful
    I've always liked Bonnie Rait. Her songs often sound simple, but that's because she's so damn good at what she does. She's got the phrasing and styling of the great jazz crooners. I think they'd be difficult for a teen, but well worth a listen.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    I like "I've got you under my skin" either Diana Krall's silky version, or Dinah Washington's more powerful version. Almost any Dinah Washington, Billie Holliday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn or Blossom Deary would be classic. On the newer side, Renee Olested has some great new versions of the older classics. If she were to emulate any of these artists, she would do fine.
    * _______________________________________ )

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Raitt's been doing it since her teens, and was probably born with it. With a pianist mother and John Raitt as her father, it was sort of inbred.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    I've said it before, but I consider Bonnie Raitt to be a tiny, perfect force of nature.
    "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Agreed..immense talent.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    How much does she actually want to do jazz?
    Dunno. I'm sure she's doesn't need to hear anything intimidating...Ella singing scat, and such.

    Of course, being fond of guitar swing, my first thought was Susie Arioli & Jordan Officer


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    And another one from the Montreal Jazz Festival...Diana Krall's amazing version of Tom Waits's "Temptation" (more for the arrangement than the vocals):


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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    She's got a great voice.

    Anyone else notice the herky-jerky mini-delay in embedded videos? It isn't there if I go straight to Youtube.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Bruce --

    Our local high school has an excellent jazz program. Two perennial favorite vocals for the girls are My Funny Valentine and One Note Samba. It seems high schoolers can do okay with those.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Donn View Post
    Anyone else notice the herky-jerky mini-delay in embedded videos? It isn't there if I go straight to Youtube.
    Doesn't happen here.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Like a Star by Corinne Bailey Rae.

    The kids and I do a neat version of this. The boy on his trombone, girl on bongos, and me getting in touch with my sensitive side.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rosen View Post
    One Note Samba.
    Presumably done in the classic bossa style, rather than, say, Ella's scat samba.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    Like a Star by Corinne Bailey Rae.

    The kids and I do a neat version of this. The boy on his trombone, girl on bongos, and me getting in touch with my sensitive side.
    Pretty girl, pretty song. Bongos would be fine...but I could imagine it with a full Cuban rhythm section.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Taylor View Post
    Presumably done in the classic bossa style, rather than, say, Ella's scat samba.
    I was thinking bossa. You can't get much easier than one note, although the bridge adds a few more notes to the mix. Much as I love Ella, I don't think this tune is the best vehicle for scat. The title gives one a subtle hint as to the composer's intentions.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rosen View Post
    I was thinking bossa. .
    I sent her two versions of Aguas de marco / The waters of march. One was a timeless version by Elis Regina. The other was a much less proficient, but still charming version, by someone named "Sofia" (more accessible to a kid, maybe):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHF2L2zbDaY

    The rhythm there is kinda "tick tock," but it still sways.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    ..someone named "Sofia"..
    She's a 23 year-old Filipino medical technologist.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    I've said it before, but I consider Bonnie Raitt to be a tiny, perfect force of nature.
    One of the, precious few, people with perfect timing -

    Another >
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Taylor View Post
    I sent her two versions of Aguas de marco / The waters of march. One was a timeless version by Elis Regina. The other was a much less proficient, but still charming version, by someone named "Sofia" (more accessible to a kid, maybe):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHF2L2zbDaY

    The rhythm there is kinda "tick tock," but it still sways.
    Waters of March is a good choice. And I like that version. How's your friend's Portugese?

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    Default Re: Jazz songs for a teen...raspy, soft, soulful

    Maybe some China Forbes?




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