10 Best Male Jazz Singers
Any great jazz collection must include at least one album from each of these 10 best male jazz singers. From Frank Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr., these ten jazz greats are all legends in their own right.
- Nat King Cole. Nat "King" Cole is one of the most famous jazz singers of all time. With successes like "L-O-V-E" and the album "After Midnight," Nat King Cole cemented his place in jazz history. His daughter, the multi-talented Natalie Cole, continues her father's jazz legacy today.
- Frank Sinatra. Frank Sinatra took everything he learned from great jazz singers like Bing Crosby and Billie Holliday and then made it all wildly popular in the 1940s and '50s. Leader of the famous "Rat Pack," which also included fellow stars like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior, Sinatra ruled the music scenes of New York, Las Vegas, and Hollywood.
- Louis Armstrong. Boasting one of the most unique voices in music history, Louis Armstrong is famous for his versions of "Mack the Knife," "Blueberry Hill," and "What a Wonderful World." Armstrong was also a genius trumpet player and a pioneer in the field of jazz thanks to his improvisational music style.
- Harry Connick Jr. Harry Connick Jr. first made it big when he did the film soundtrack for the 1989 movie "When Harry Met Sally." The movie was wildly successful and the soundtrack earned Connick Jr. a Grammy award. He continues to make albums today and, following in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr. has also cultivated a successful acting career.
- Bing Crosby. While many contemporary audiences remember Bing Crosby best for his work on the Christmas song and holiday movie "White Christmas," Bing Crosby was the biggest name in music for the first half of the twentieth century. The radio star was one of the few to successfully transition to life on the big screen with the advent of movies and television in the '30s, '40s, and '50s.
- Ray Charles. Ray Charles is perhaps best known for being a soul music pioneer, but the singer and pianist has also recorded plenty of straight jazz, too. Charles took jazz influence from artists like Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole and turned it into an entirely new genre: soul.
- Cab Calloway. No one puts on a show like Cab Calloway. The great scat singer is best known for his performances at the Cotton Club and his trademark version of "Minnie the Moocher."
- Mel Torme. Mel Torme was one of the most versatile jazz singers of the 20th century. Nicknamed "the Velvet Fog" due to his smooth voice, Torme ruled nightclubs and later started an acting career as well.
- Joe Williams. Joe Williams became the lead vocalist for the Count Basie Orchestra in the '50s and never looked back. Although his two main hits both have blues, not jazz, in the title ("Every Day I Have the Blues" and "Nothin' but the Blues"), Williams was one of the last great jazz singers to perform with a big band orchestra behind him.
- Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett experienced commercial success in the '50s and '60s, faded away from the public eye, and then made a remarkable comeback in the 1980's with a brand new audience. Tony Bennett is best known for his trademark single, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."
Posted on: Dec. 31, 2010