Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Looking for a good role model?

From, of all places, NPR:
Bing Crosby's influence on modern singing is so huge, we barely notice it anymore. It spread out through deadpan crooners like Perry Como, folksy colloquialists like Johnny Mercer and warm, sexy baritones like Billy Eckstine. Later singers who effectively undersell a song are indebted, too, like Nick Drake  and Leonard Cohen. Jazz singing could use a fresh dose of Crosby's influence, after so many swaggering baby Sinatras. Bring on the baby Bings.
I have some doubt about the latter two references. Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen did indeed "undersell" songs but that was because neither of them had the slightest clue how to sing. Crosby was an amazingly talented singer who used his talent to create an easy-going spirit. It was easy to listen to but it took a lot of incredibly hard work to achieve the effect. If you want to be a Baby Bing or a swaggering Baby Sinatra, as the story discusses, the first thing you need to know is that it is going to take a lot of work. It's not just a matter of attitude.

No comments:

Post a Comment