1. Kristin Berardi. Kristin is unique because of the control she has over her voice. She is a rare vocalist that knows her own instrument more than most instrumentalists, yet still sings with such emotional integrity. Did I mention she can swing?
2. Lettuce. These guys are so cool! Other than their almost metronomic sense of time, they are able to play astoundingly difficult music while making it sound so tasteful. I am impressed with the way that they pay tribute to icons of funk, soul and jazz while still pushing funk in a new direction.
3. Becca Stevens. The way she writes and arranges has changed the way I look at what I would like to accomplish as an artist. Her lyrics are moving, her voice is genuine, and she is a talented band leader.
4. Bobby McFerrin. He seems to have a superhuman sense of time and his intonation is insane! He is technically proficient and an accomplished improviser, and has a gift for bringing out the best in an audience.
5. Erykah Badu. Such a unique tone, great rhythmic feel and killer band! I could listen to her for hours. She has a commanding stage presence and I always love what she wears. She is just the coolest.
Charlotte McLean performs with her quintet at the Brisbane Jazz Club tonight, Thursday August 29.