Here is a typical example of Cleo Laine's refined style.
Clementina Dinah Campbell was born in 1927 in Southall, Middlesex, England. Her singing career started with Johnny Dankworth's big band in the early 50's. She married him in 1958 and since then they have become one of the UK's best-known partnerships. Throughout the 60's, Laine began extending her repertoire arrangements of lyrics by literary figures like Eliot, Hardy, Auden and Shakespeare. Her varied repertoire also includes Kurt Weill and Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire". 1972 marked the start of Cleo's international activities, with a triumphant tour of Australia. Shortly afterwards, her career in the United States was launched with a concert at New York's Lincoln Center, followed in 1973 by the first of many Carnegie Hall appearances. In 1976, she recorded "Porgy And Bess" with Ray Charles in a non-classical version, which is in the same vein as the earlier Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong interpretation. After several nominations, Cleo received a Grammy award, in recognition of the live recording of her 1983 Carnegie concert. In Los Angeles she received a Lifetime Achievement Award by the US recording industry (1991). In addition to her incredible vocal range and technique she has done much, through her numerous television appearances, to broaden the public's acceptance of different styles of music in a jazz setting, and in doing so she has broken many barriers. In December 1997, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in the Queen's 1997 Birthday Honours list.
Cleo Laine possesses a quite unique voice which spans a number of octaves from a smoky, husky deep whisper to a shrill but incredibly delicate high register. Her scat-singing matches the all-time greats including Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Listen and enjoy!
On a slow boat to China