Dee Dee Bridgewater Kenny Burrell

James Carter
  • Strange Fruit - Reedist James Carter should be much better known outside jazz circles. This is from Gardenias For Lady Day, 2003.
Chris Connor
  • Miser's Serenade (from Chris Connor Sings Lullabys of Birdland, 1954) Bill Gates's theme song?
Tal Farlow
Grant Green
  • It Ain't Necessarily So (from The Complete Quartets With Sonny Clark, 1962) That's Art Blakey on drums and Sam Jones on bass.
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand (from I Want To Hold Your Hand, 1965). With Hank Mobley, Larry Young and Elvin Jones.
Billie Holiday

Milt Jackson
  • Wonder Why (from Milt Jackson, Prestige LP7003, 1955). Compare Sarah Vaughan's extraordinary version with this straight-ahead rendition.
  • For Someone I Love (from Sunflower, 1972). This is one of my favorite recordings of all time. The album includes Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Jay Beliner, Ron Carter and Billy Cobham.
Barney Kessel O'Donel Levy Helen Merrill
Charles Mingus
  • II B.S. (from Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, 1963)
Joe Pass

Leon Redbone Frank Sinatra
By any standard, Sinatra still had a good voice when he recorded with Bono in 1993. But compare that rendition with this one, recorded thirty years earlier in his prime. No one--not Sarah, not Ella, not Billie--could have done it better than he did.

Zoot Sims

Sarah Vaughan
  • Wonder Why (from After Hours, 1961) Mundell Lowe, guitar
  • Peter Gunn (from Sings The Mancini Songbook, 1964)
  • I've Got The World On A String (from How Long Has This Been Going On?, 1978) - With Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, Louis Bellson and Ray Brown.
  • To Say Goodbye (from Cocacapana, 1979)
  • From This Moment On (from Send In The Clowns, 1981) This is not to be confused with the 1974 album of the same name. You don't want to make that mistake.
  • Moanin' (A Bobby Timmons tune from Sarah Sings Soulfully, 1963)
  • When Sonny Gets Blue (from Plus Two, with guitar giant Barney Kessel.)

1From the liner notes of Sinatra and Strings... "This Stardust, incidentally, is something special. Hoagy Carmichael equipped his great song with a verse that is, musically, just as interesting as the chorus and Mitchell Parish lavished some of his loveliest lyrics on it. But, despite this, the verse is rarely played or sung. In this arrangement, Costa has written a glowing introduction that builds towards a beautifully phrased rendition of the verse by Sinatra, a performance that brings out all the miraculous qualities of this neglected masterpiece. And after the song is all finished, see if you notice something unusual, anything strange. You should. This is the most unusual version of Stardust that has ever been recorded--because Sinatra doesn't sing the famous chorus at all. It is skipped completely. Everything is focused on the verse giving it the attention and recognition that has long been its due."