Rain's Top Ten Jazz Albums
You Might Not Have Heard Of

(or even if you have, they're worth another listen)

Eric Alexander
Young tenor saxophonist with a ton of heart. Start with Nightlife in Tokyo, of course… nothing fancy, just terrific jazz.

Monica Borrfors
Swedish vocalist I first heard in Bar Satoh in Osaka, world's best whiskey bar. Slowfox is a collection of songs in English, all rendered in Borrfor's warm, slightly husky, beautiful voice.

Charles Brown
Brown's voice contains pain and hope and the wisdom of experience, and his piano is top-notch.

Akiko Grace
Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk… Akiko Grace. Her piano is that good. Love and loss and hope and elegy - I don't know how someone so young can understand and express it all, but Japanese composer/pianist Grace does.

Patricia Kaas
French vocalist with a wonderfully alluring voice… try Tour de Charme, which has two tracks in English, the rest in French.

Marisa Monte
Brazilian pop? Jazz? Choro? Who cares? Monte's voice is so enchanting that it doesn't matter if you can't understand the Portuguese lyrics. Start with Rose & Charcoal.

Junko Onishi
Japanese pianist I first saw in Club Alfie in Tokyo, where she provided the inspiration for the character who became Midori Kawamura. Plays like an angry Thelonious Monk, as Alfie's mama-san might put it…

Brenda Russell
Russell is hard to classify - jazz, light jazz, R&B, soul…? Her voice is a caress - she can lull you to laugh, to sleep, to tears.

Luciana Souza
Is is jazz or choro? Who cares? Souza's vocals are a delight. Listen to the voice and you'll fall in love with the woman.

Japanese flugelhorn player and vocalist with an assured baritone voice. A terrific performer - at the Tokyo live houses, Toku packs 'em in.


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