The ten best female jazz vocalists of all time

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Blossom Dearie Blossom Dearie may not have had been able to do vocal gymnastics like some of the others on this list, but she made up for that with her warm, wispy and girlish vocal delivery. Her understated, yet skilled piano playing worked quite well under her singing, particularly on her Verve recordings of the 1950s, including her excellent 1959 self-titled album.

Peggy Lee While Peggy Lee might be forever known for her sultry version of "Fever," which she recorded in 1958, before that she had already had a two-year stint singing in Benny Goodman's big band in the early '40s and had released a number of solo recordings under her own name throughout the '40s and '50s, including the wonderful 1956 album, Black Coffee, which features some great takes on the title track and Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Carmen McRae A great singer, composer and pianist, Carmen McRae got an early start singing with Benny Carter, Count Basie and Mercer Ellington in the mid '40s, but it was her solo albums of the 1950s, like Torchy! and Blue Moon that helped push her into the spotlight. She released a number of fine albums throughout the next four decades, including the wonderful 1988 release, Carmen Sings Monk, which features Denver's own Eric Gunnison on piano.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon