Written by: Thomas Cooney
|Please let me say that I am embarrassed to be called 'a vocal genius' I do not consider myself that :~P I just do my thang and hope people like it :~)|
Time and time again I’m reminded of Picasso’s quote about his contemporary: “In the end, there will only be Matisse.” That, of course, hasn’t proved to be the case, but then again, we’re not at the end….yet. Anyone who’s read my work knows that I’m often fascinated by what the masters themselves read, listen to, become supplicants of. Earlier this year I listed Jo Swan as the greatest living singer. Fresh on the heels of the new Ilya album Blind As Hope Jo Swan, one half of the British duo, has shared with CITC and our readers, her list.
When I asked her for a recent publicity pic to go along with this article, she sent along a photo that was used as part of a No Make-Up Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in the UK. For a singer who clearly doesn’t need studio help with her voice, it’s a perfect match for the gorgeous vulnerability that one can best hear in the second free song Ilya has graciously given away to our readers. “All I Got” is from the duo’s previous album Fathoms Deep.
Jo Swan’s Ten Favorite Singers
Blimey 10 singers is sooo difficult.
Some singers I love but their repertoire makes me not put them on the list.
Easy for the likes of Ella and Dusty when they have Cole Porter and Bacharach to show case their talents.
Anyway – in no particular order as I am incapable of doing a 1 to 10 as it will change with my mood.
David Bowie: I think the moment Bowie heard Scott Walker it enabled his true voice to come forth unto the world! To me Bowies voice is the essence of the 1970′s and he spoke to my tender young heart and told it not to be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Ella Fitzgerald: She nudges above the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Anita O’Day, because—apart from the obvious perfection in her flutey voice—within the core there is a joyousness, like a bubbling brook in the bright sunshine.
Dusty Springfield: Dusty is perfection to me; her tone and phrasing are (almost) unequalled.
Yma Sumac: Her voice is a phenomenal instrument. Uma was a raw, untouched, powerful and sensual force of nature, and with the enormous highs and lows of her range I feel like I am being bathed in the song of the Peruvian Forest. I happen to be a sucker for lounge style albums from the 1950s and Yma adds such exotic and fearless experimentalism to this easy-listening genre.
Stevie Wonder: I feel nauseous choosing Stevie over the likes of Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Al Green etc. What can I say? His voice sings its way deep into my gut and makes me happy to be alive!
Elizabeth Fraser: I hope the best is yet to come with Elizabeth as an album has been in the making for many years and I await with baited ears for its release. Elizabeth has a voice whose unique style, crystal clear purity and beautiful soft Scottish diction has the power to heal the world.
Guy Garvey: I could listen to Guy’s voice all day and not tire of it. His authentic and perfect singing is so full of romance and I love that he sings with his natural northern accent as it only serves to enrich his lyrics, which in themselves are sublime poems.
Caetano Veloso: This Brazilian singer, guitarist, composer (and political activist) has a voice of an angel; if I were dying his is the voice that could be my lift music to heaven!
Nat King Cole: I am a sentimental fool! Is there any voice that tells you they love you and only you with such divine believability?
Lennon & McCartney – Can I add them as a team? Because I ask myself: Without the Beatles, would I have ever chosen to sing?