Will Friedwald, author of Jazz Singing

There have been albums of jazz singers doing The Beatles before, most notably Sarah Vaughan's in 1977. But where Vaughan, at that late stage in her career, was dark and heavy, "Let It Be Jazz: Connie Evingson Sings The Beatles" (Summit DCD1021), is light and whimsical, translating the psychadelic humor of The Fab Four into jazz terms. The Minneapolan Ms. Evingson takes "When I'm 64," one of Paul McCartney's numerous vaudeville-like turns, and re-imagines it twice, both times using Mr. McCartney's capriciousness as a starting point: first like a tango or beguine, complete with accordion, then in a sort of ragtime-stride approach, with racing piano and hot clarinet. The two treatments are so different and inspired that they help to make my point that fresh ideas and good arrangements are the main reason to listen to contemporary jazz singers.

by Will Friedwald

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