Can it be that little more than a decade ago, jazz singing was widely written off as a dead art? No one had come along to take the stages abandoned by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carmen McRae, though Betty Carter and Abbey Lincoln had survived the wilderness years to reassert their own claims as supreme individualists in an uncrowded field. They in turn influenced many young singers, which was a great relief from that strange period in the '70s when all black woman singers tried to sound like Aretha and all white woman singers tried to sound like Annie Ross—a trite landscape of unholy melisma and runaway hipsterism. Yet the most gifted singer of the boomer generation, who might have changed all that, Dee Dee Bridgewater, relocated to Paris after a fleeting try at disco and was rarely heard; while the most promising singer of the next generation, Cassandra Wilson, was mired in M-Base science fiction and seemed to consider it a matter of artistic integrity not to connect... More >>>