Major Jazz Influences

I was challenged by two friends, Rob Pettipas and Elena Welch, to list the major jazz influences in my life.

My criteria for this project was to research the albums I remembered from my early childhood and determine each record’s significance to me. It was a fun project, but took longer than I thought it would. The second criteria was that each album had to have a song or songs that I cover or have recorded.

I organized the albums in chronological order because I could not determine which performer influenced me most. My dad was hip. He subscribed to Playboy and a Jazz Record Club. He always had the latest cool recording. I was born to it.

So many singers were left off of the list that I had to include a post script… Jazz is my deal. For me it began long ago in Palms…just up Motor Avenue from the MGM lots…Culver City, Santa Monica, LA…

The Wild One


#7 Inside Betty Carter
Beware My Heart/ This Time
Look No Further
My Favorite Things*

Open the Door*
Spring Can Really Hang You Up*
This is Always*

#3 Bergin Sings Morgan
Body & Soul
Mean To Me
Melancholy Baby
More Than You Know
The Party’s Over*

Why Was I Born? Bill*

#2 Here’s Al Hibbler
After the Lights Go Down Low
Do Nothing ’til You Hear From Me

Ghost of a Chance*Ghost Of a Chance*
Just a Kid Named Joe
The Very Thought of You
Slow Boat to China

#1 Frank Sinatra, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers
A Foggy Day
I thought About You
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Pennies from Heaven

#5 Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
It’s De-lovely
Night & Day*
Too Darn Hot
You’d Be So Easy to Love

#6 Sarah Vaughn, The Rodgers & Hart Songbook
Little Girl Blue*
My Funny Valentine*
’s Wonderful/Thou Swell*
The Man I love

#4 Count Basie Swings Joe Williams Swings
Alright OK You Win
The Comeback
Everyday I Have the Blues*
Teach Me Tonight

#9 Basia, Clear Horizon, Time & Tide
Miles Away*
Olive Tree


#8. Mark Murphy

Stolen Moments*
Red Clay

#10. Diane Schuur COLLECTION
Come Rain or Come Shine
Easy to Love
I’ll Close My Eyes/Butterfly
Love Dance
The Very Thought of You

#Bonus: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue…Man with a Horn
All Blues*