I have a hard time choosing my favorite musician. I don’t play any instruments myself (unfortunately), so then it always gets a little bit harder to pick one. I had a few singing classes a few years ago and I’m an okay singer. Nothing major, but I do not completely suck either. That is why, instead of picking a drummer or a guitar player (or w/e), I’ve opted to go with my favorite vocalist. I actually have two: Ella Fitzgerald & Jacques Brel. You’re guessing right, we’re going back in time here people.
An American jazz singer who started in the 30s, went solo in the 40s, but had her major success in the 50s. Her voice is perfect. She hits every note. She scats. She is simply amazing. My favorite songs by her are How High the Moon & Midnight Sun. These are songs that have been sung by plenty of other people, but I like Ella Fitzgerald’s versions best!
How High the Moon:
This song picks up right in the middle and it goes FAST. Yet she hits all notes, pronounces all the words and somehow does it seemingly without any effort. Plus she’s scatting on this too. Major respect for Ella. I wish I could sing like that!
Nice and slow song. Very romantic. But oh so pretty. The lyrics are amazing.
A Belgian singer, who left his family behind in his late 30s to pursue a singing career in Paris. He is known for his diversity of music styles and had his big successes in the late 50s and early 60s. He died of lung cancer in the 70s. Most of his songs are in French, but he started translating them to Dutch later on, though he never finished that job before his death. His songs have been covered into oblivion. One of his biggest hits (Ne Me Quitte Pas) is one of the most covered songs in pop history. If you want to know what ‘singing from the heart’ actually means, you should listen to this. I only speak 2 words of French, but still I love these songs. My favorites: Amsterdam & Ne Me Quitte Pas.
Beautiful song about the sailors in Amsterdam and what they’re doing all day. It’s pretty much about boozing, eating and visiting hookers. But still a pretty song. If you understand Dutch, Dutch blues/rock/pop band De Dijk, translated a few Brel songs, also Amsterdam.
Ne Me Quitte Pas:
There are so many versions of this song. In French, in English (there are two different translations), but nothing beats the original.
Other Brel songs that I love:
Marieke (In both French & Dutch)
La Chanson des Vieux Amants
Mon Pere Disait