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Doreen Smith

Not a "diva", not a "songbird"...
... a singer.

Hear Doreen Sing
First Memories of Doreen Smith
Or: how I came to dig her

In a time when vocal gymnastics are passed off as singing...
When Whitney's constant flitting around a note like a moth instead of hitting it is considered "great"...
When Mariah's dog-whistle is admired by millions...
When even jazz singers are not immune to the worship of sheer technique:

Doreen Smith Doreen Smith is the proverbial breath of fresh air.
While she does sing jazz, she extemporizes and all that, she also knows that some parts of a song are good enough to do them "as is" [or else why do that song at all?]. Hers is an art of subtlety and restraint, of feeling over contortion, of content over form: of refined creation. She's not "performing": she's singing, a distinction all too rare nowadays. The only other jazz singers I can think of offhand who are similarly devoted to emotion instead of showiness are Dave Frishberg, Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett...

... and I think Doreen is good enough to sit at the table with all of them. There may be other singers as good as she is, but none better.

Back to Curmudge's Secret Weapons of Canadian Jazz page!