Jazz vocalist Jonathan Karrant moved to the West Coast a little over five years ago from the Ozarks. He's become a fixture in San Diego ever since, crooning his lanky tunes, missing only a martini and a cigarette for the ultimate ring-a-ding-ding feel. He is a straight-forward, unadorned interpreter who has formed his style from the far-flung corners of the vocal field.
"I'm known for digging up a lot of tunes that are not your typical standards," says Karrant. "I throw in a few crowd pleasers but I like finding tunes that are obscure. Songs like "Don't Misunderstand" or "May I Come In?" or "Drinking Again" have only been recorded two or three times." Karrant spoke with us about a few of those far-flung influences. If you like where he's coming from, you'll want to check him out at Spaghettini in Seal Beach this Sunday, August 19.
I think his album with Coltrane is probably one of the best jazz albums ever. He is mostly known for being a ballad singer. He didn’t record a lot of the Fly Me to the Moon kind of stuff that has been recorded 10,000 times.
Little Jimmy Scott
He’s kind of a singer’s singer. I know that Elton John and Diana krall have a lot of respect for him. When he was younger and becoming popular, he helped changed the way people do their phrasing. He’s turned me on to some tunes I wouldn’t know if it weren’t for him like “My Mother’s Eyes” and “Slave to Love.”
Etta Jones just has a cool easy breezy blues. She’s definitely a blues singer. She has a rough kind of Billie Holiday voice but I guess most of her tunes are just easy to hear and have a kind of slow swing going on. I guess I just like the blue notes she sings.
He is another singer’s singer. I know Diana Krall has recorded a ton of his tunes. He’s got clever lyrics and a great sense of humor. My top Mose tune would be “Fool’s Paradise.” My mother turned me on to that one. He comes from a blues background and a southern kind of feel. It’s a different place than a jazz background. I got to meet him and hang out with him. We share some stories. He had a cool laidback sense about him. He had a nice laugh.
Freddy Cole has some tunes I don’t think anyone else has done. “Correct Me If I’m Wrong” etc. He’s another guy that is just cool, laidback. I think his voice is easy on the ear as far as a singer goes.
Jonathan Karrant @ OC Weekly