This voice never boasted the sheer lusciousness of Leontyne Price or the sword-like thrust of Birgit Nilsson. But Montserrat Caballé had a honeyed quality in her timbre, a huge range, and fabulous agility that she deployed like a magician.
Not only does she nail all the things that define great jazz singers, but Reeves also expands the idea of what a jazz vocalist is. She constructs intricate rhythm arrangements and choruses that leave listeners humming for days.
Working with the most basic human utterances, Monk's vocal music sounds fundamental and timeless.
Massimo Agus/Courtesy of Universalhide caption
Camaron de la Isla re-energized a centuries-old flamenco tradition, leading the music into the 20th century and beyond. As he began his career, flamenco was still a connoisseur's music, hardly part of the popular Spanish mainstream, but Camaron would change that forever.
The late soul singer's legendary voice has been called "flawless" and "as smooth as silk." It's been known to create an atmosphere of pure romance: For many years, Vandross was the go-to singer for when you wanted to get in the mood.
Holiday became famous after she recorded "Strange Fruit," a 1939 protest song about lynchings of African-Americans. The haunting vocal offers a stark illustration of her greatest gift -- the ability to convey emotion.
Vargas was born in Costa Rica, but has a voice tailor-made for singing Mexican rancheras, boleros and corridos. For many Mexicans, her versions of these songs are definitive. Even at 91, Vargas still possesses a voice that reflects struggle, defiance and ultimately triumph.
To find out just what makes Domingo so compelling as Otello, the warrior who suspects his wife has been unfaithful, we turn to some of his fans: singer and composer Rufus Wainwright, former music critic Tim Page and opera star Renee Fleming.
Placido Domingo: The Spellbinding Voice Of A Titan Tenor