Recommended music - other than classical and pop

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Jaimee Paul - I like her Melancholy Baby.
While I'm not really a fan of 'smooth jazz' genre (because that same back beat throughout every song gets old quickly), Steve Cole dances on the line... His Midnight album has lots of strings, and very minimal 'smooth jazz' feel to it. Other albums of his are back and forth on the tracks, but Midnight is fantastic.
Which Midnight album - I couldn't find it anywhere.
Sigh. Sorry. Moonlight. Midnight is a song he did with Brian Culbertson and Marcus Miller. Marcus Miller is another phenomenal player... bass driven songs with a funky style. I really enjoy listening to him play. First took notice of him in the 80s when he was backing David Sanborn.
Ahh ok, found THAT one:-).

Apple Music is a brilliant addition to my music listening and I keep discovering well known artistes I had no inkling about.

A recent find is Tommy Flanagan and in play often these days is his album The Magnificent Tommy Flanagan. Listen to the track Old Devil Moon for piano with swing and a very good rhythm section playing in tandem.

From the link I note that it was Grammy nominated; for what that is worth and not a basis for my recommendation.
Yes... GREAT album! Been a fan of his for years, and actually have that one in my collection. I Fall In Love Too Easily is on it... I heard that song for the first time by Frank Sinatra several years ago and was blown away by the orchestration, melody, the voice... I couldn't get enough of it. I researched the song and saw it was not only written by Sammy Cahn, but was covered dozens of times, including by Chet Baker, Johnny Hartman, Miles, and yes... Tommy Flanagan. Anita O'Day even covered it.
Wes Montgomery's 'Fusion!' Loaded with strings, fantastic melodies, and, of course, Wes.
Gato Barbieri. Pretty much everything he ever did. Such sultry, burning sax playing from him. I'm addicted to his Caliente! album right now...
Gato Barbieri. .
Old unearthed gem, that - I can see you are partial to strings:-)!

A new jazz singer in a Brasilian style - Andrea Motis/Live at Jamboree. Fresh new voice although in time the lack of variety might tell. But this album also has the benefit of great blowing in support, with Scott Hamilton in the line up.
For anyone that likes jazz piano trios with a lot of energy/drive and for just good music, try Monty Alexander. I don't know if he ever made a poor album, but a few excellent ones:
1. Montreaux Alexander
2. In Tokyo
3. Uplift - both 1 and 2 - are excellent albums.
Over the weekend I stumbled on a 9 CD box set from Anita O'Day. Not really a fan of the jazz vocal singers, but man... something about her vocals just makes martini time so extra special.
O'Day is excellent - and IMO best in her small group album with Oscar Peterson. Another instance of a life lived in full.
O'Day is excellent - and IMO best in her small group album with Oscar Peterson. Another instance of a life lived in full.

Fully on the edge! She liked to live dangerously.

My set is only 4 CDs, but of course her huge library is available online. I'm trying to remember the live set I enjoyed a few months ago. Live at Mr. Kelly's?

Dangerously is right - but she was able to walk the fine line a lot more successfully than many others. AllMusic has her as a contender for the finest jazz vocalist ever and that is high praise.

As you say, there is huge amount of her music online, both live and studio. Enough to allow me to listen to just the kind I prefer, I am not a fan of big band backed singing by any singer.
I go both ways... big band and swinging, or just quiet vocals with an instrument or two. Depends on the mood. With Anita, she has some raucous stuff that makes awesome meal prep music, like her work with Billy May, or her bluesy close to solo stuff. Sinatra did the same thing. Gotta love brass! Sometimes, of course.
I go both ways

On subject: I have found, with my limited searching for them, very few recent big band performances that benefit from the better recording tech now at hand. I have found that many of the older recordings of big bands show up the lower recording quality of the past much more than what is heard on small group performances of the time. Even from the fifties, many of the latter have excellent sound quality. Some exceptions to this of course, like the Clifford Brown with Strings that is excellent music and excellent SQ; I find that to be a much better listen than the Charlie Parker with Strings.

Are there any really well recorded jazz big band instrumental/vocal albums of any time that are worth investigating?
I'm impartial to the 30s Dorsey stuff, followed by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman... A huge part of my jazz collection centers around that style and them. Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw... all great stuff. Vocally, throw in Sinatra, Helen O'Connell, Ella, Billie Holliday, Peggy Lee, Dick Haymes. That list is endless to me.

Oddly, I've taken a crazy turn this week... I've fallen in love with the 50s and 60s country artists (I toured the Grand Ol Opry in Nashville a couple of weeks ago). Loretta Lynn, Moe Bandy, George Jones, Connie Smith, Willie, Lefty Frizzell, Gene Watson, Gentleman Jim Reeves. I dropped a fortune at the used CD shop soaking a ton of all that up. Thankfully, a lot of it is available in 'essential' and 'best of' collections, so that pares down the wallet necessity.
Another classic jazz album with strings - Winter Moon/Art Pepper - with subtle strings support.
Released today. Listening now.

A new Bill Evans! How does it stack up against his best work?
I'll let one of my go-to reviewers answer.
Interesting and it is also well recorded, by the same folk responsible for some of the best recorded Oscar Peterson, the Exclusively for my Friends albums.
And available to stream from Apple Music...nice.
Thanks for highlighting the release:-)
I recently discovered a few compilations of great late night listening - superb blowing sessions from masters of the sax. The albums are culled from different records for a "Lovers" theme, but for the most part the music is very coherent across the album, being from one artiste. All jazz recordings of the 50s/60s, sounding fresh as any performed today. Very decent sound quality as well.
1. Ballads - Ike Quebec
2. Music for Lovers - albums by Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley and Stanley Turrentine

And for one with more energy and swing, Curtis Fuller and Benny Golson on Bluesette.
Another excellent album from Ike Quebec is his Bossa Nova Soul Samba. Brazilian flavoured classic jazz without it being overtly so to the extent it gets predictable.
A great short description of the Ike Quebec Samba album: "Think of it as vintage Quebec blue note in the tint of a relaxed Brazilian glow."
He died of cancer in 1963 just three months after recording this one.