There is another way.
Cécile McLorin Salvant maintains a perfect jazz mood, without sacrificing a single consonant. Watch her tell the story of Poor Butterfly:
Every word as clear as crystal. Every consonant sharp and pure.
When you’re singing a story song, you need to help your audience to hear enough of the important words clearly, so that they can follow you safely through the narrative. Otherwise they will worry that they’ve missed something. If the song is famous, your job is easier, but if you’re singing something less well known, like Poor Butterfly, be kind and be clear.
A distracted audience is not a happy audience.
It’s up to you how you communicate clearly with your audience. Cécile’s with Cab Calloway and Oscar Brown Jr. on the clarity front. Gregory Porter‘s with Amy Winehouse on the moody ghost consonant front.
Which do you prefer?
© Sing Better English, 2014