Who's the greatest of them all? A lively discussion over at Power Line about the prime jazz vocalists of our time: Ella vs Billie vs Sarah. Readers joined in with some forceful opinions.
Not that all the outstanding voices belong to the past. Diana Krall recently took a pasting from the Atlantic critic Francis Davis. But I still think she's an amazing talent. Patricia Barber is another of my new-found favourites.
As is Curtis Stigers, whom most people know only as a winsome Nineties pop star. His roots, however, are in jazz (his mentor, back in distant Idaho, was that barnstorming Blue Note pianist Gene Harris.) The first time I heard Curtis was about four years ago when he played a club date in Soho. It was a stunning night, and he's grown with each outing. Winning over the jazz critics hasn't been easy - that soft-rock reputation is awfully hard to shed. But I would have thought that appearing on a double-bill with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center should be enough to convince a few people to take him seriously. I wish I could be there.
ENCORE: OK, he's not a jazz singer but that's no excuse for missing him. The greatest performer I've ever heard in the last decade, Caetano Veloso, plays the Barbican next month as part of the Tropicália season. If you don't know the name, here's the album to start with: if I could only ever keep one CD from my entire collection, it would be a toss-up between that and Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. Come to think of it, there are a lot of similarities between the two artists - the same fragile elegance, the same taste for introspection.