Academic journal article Journal of Singing

So You Want to Sing Jazz: A Guide for Professionals

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

So You Want to Sing Jazz: A Guide for Professionals

Article excerpt

Shapiro, Jan. So You Want to Sing Jazz: A Guide for Professionals. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. A Project of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Paper, xvii, 187 pp., $35.00. ISBN 978-1-4422-2935-8 www.rowman.com

In 2014, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), in conjunction with Rowman & Littlefield, inaugurated a series of instructional books for singers. Each text offers a survey of singing within a particular genre. The first volumes in the set are So You Want to Sing Music Theater by Karen Hall (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014; reviewed in Journal of Singing 71, no. 2 [November/December 2014]: 254-256) and So You Want to Sing Rock 'n' Roll by Matthew Edwards (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015; reviewed in Journal of Singing 71, no. 5 [May/June 2015]: 650-652). For the volume devoted to jazz, the publishers turned to Jan Shapiro, who is on faculty at Berklee College of Music, and has extensive performance experience in the genre.

Shapiro offers a wide-ranging overview of jazz and vocal jazz characteristics. She begins with a primer on the birth and evolution of the genre, from the blues to fusion. Entwined in the history is an exposition of the characteristics of jazz singing, including the improvisation intrinsic to the style. As in the previous books, Scott McCoy contributes a chapter devoted to voice science, and Wendy DeLeo LeBorgne addresses the issues of vocal health for the jazz artists. The essay by McCoy, which explains the anatomy, physiology, and acoustics of singing in a clear manner, is the same as in the earlier volumes. LeBorgne, however, has added advice specific to the jazz singer, such as how to cope with smoke and dust in performance venues.

In order to perform successfully in a particular style, a singer must develop an understanding of the elements of the genre. Shapiro lists the ideal vocal characteristics in jazz, which include freedom in the tone, attention to phrasing, melodic and rhythmic improvisation, varying vocal inflection, and flexible tempi. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.