February: The Perfect Month for Jazz

While I would personally argue every month is the perfect month for Jazz, February fits the bill especially well. Between Black History Month and Valentine’s Day hanging just around the corner, this is the time to celebrate the diversity and evolution this genre has taken. From legends like Sarah Vaughan to break-through artists like Esperanza Spaulding, it’s incredible to think it all falls under the same label. This month, take a look back at the classics, and look forward to some albums coming soon to an Alachua County Library near you!

Billie Holiday – Lady in Satin

Billie Holiday’s sultry voice has withstood the test of time, pulling at the heartstrings and taking you on a journey through her joy and pain. With her gentle vibrato and expressive tone, this album is the perfect background for either a candle-lit dinner for two or eating an entire carton of ice cream on the sofa with your dog.

"What makes You've Changed, It's Easy to Remember, But Beautiful and The End of a Love Affair so special is that the lyrics suited Billie's autumnal voice perfectly. [Ray] Ellis' arrangements on each song manage to be both melancholy and spirited, at once supporting and saluting Billie's jazz and pop significance." Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com

Other classics to check out:

Blue Gardenia - Etta James

Love Songs - Sarah Vaughan

At Long Last - Rosemary Clooney

 

 

 

Melody Gardot – Currency of Man

For those out of love or just looking for more empowerment over the upcoming holiday, Melody Gardot is who you are looking for. With a gorgeous alto voice strikingly similar to Adele, Gardot’s album will have you transfixed from start to finish. Personal favorites from this album include Preacherman, Same to You, and Bad News.

"Currency of Man is a further step away from the lithe, winsome pop-jazz that garnered her notice initially, and it's a welcome one." Allmusic.com

Other albums by Melody Gardot:

My One and Only Thrill

Worrisome Heart

The Absence 

 

Esperanza Spaulding – Emily’s D+ Evolution

Coming soon! Spaulding’s past albums Radio Music Society and Esperanza were so fantastic, you can’t help but get excited for her latest work. Adding her special flair, all samples of this record feature funky electric guitar topped with her signature light and electric voice. The only question that remains: will she pull out the bass?

"As brash and experimental as the Emily's D+ Evolution material can be — and there are moments when the show teeters toward self-indulgence — the songs still bear the compositional stamp of a jazz prodigy who thinks like a bassist." Thacher Schmid, The Oregonian/OregonLive

 

More New Jazz coming your way:

Lost Heroes by Iiro Rantala

Sweet 17 by Michael Rosen

Julie is Her Name by Julie London