All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Mary Stallings

Mary Stallings

”I had a huge voice when I was just eight years old,” says Mary Stallings about her beginnings as a singer. It was a voice too big to ignore - spanning almost four octaves. Few could. By the time she was 11, she had made her first solo recording and while still in high school she joined Louis Jordan's Tympani Five. She came of age in the big band era, and was invited to tour as vocalist with most of the major names of the time. “It was the best musical education I could have had,” explains Mary, “I was fired from lessons for playing everything from memory.” Instead, her education came a bit more unconventionally, including stints with the Grover Mitchell - Earl “Father” Hines band, three years touring the U.S. and Europe with Count Basie, and sharing the bill with Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. “I met all the heroes of the music and then got a chance to work with them,” she says.

Although Mary took time off from touring and recording during the '70's, she never stopped singing. So when she re-emerged back onto the jazz scene reinvigorated, with a sound that gave homage to her past but held a freshness and vigor, she immediately caught the attention of the music press, who called her “stunning” and a “jazz vocal sensation.” During this period, she released several critically acclaimed CDs, one which made many of the year-end “best-of” lists, another that went to the top 10 on the Gavin Jazz Chart

Read more

Tags

Album Review
Read more articles
“Perhaps the best jazz singer alive today is a woman almost everybody seems to have missed. Her name is Mary Stallings.” —New York Times

“Stallings’ voice is supple and timeless... encompassing the whole history of music.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Stallings sounds like Carmen McRae with some Dinah Washington sass thrown in. Stallings doesn't flit around or complicate her singing with oblique swirls and curlicues like many younger jazz singers. She stays closer to the blues, laying down the ballad ‘Sunday Kind of Love’ with fine, feminine ardor.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“The vocalist, who got her start with the bands of Cal Tjader, Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie, wraps her slightly gospel-inflected pipes around a set of jazz standards and obscurities with true elegance

Read more

Photos

Albums

Remember Love

Half Note Records
2005

buy

Live At The Village...

Sony Urban Music
2001

buy

Manhattan Moods

Sony Urban Music
1997

buy

Fine And Mellow

Sony Urban Music
1990

buy

Similar

Sarah Vaughan
voice / vocals
Cassandra Wilson
voice / vocals
Julie London
voice / vocals
Carmen McRae
voice / vocals
June Christy
voice / vocals
Etta Jones
voice / vocals
Arthur Prysock
voice / vocals
Joe Williams
voice / vocals
Tierney Sutton
voice / vocals
Eden Atwood
voice / vocals
Karrin Allyson
voice / vocals
Johnny Hartman
voice / vocals
Helen Merrill
voice / vocals
Sachal Vasandani
voice / vocals

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.