One of the most beautiful voices of my lifetime has gone silent with the death at 69 of Kenny Rankin. Hardly a household name, Mr. Rankin was a “musician’s musician” who had a long career in music. A balladeer with few real peers, Rankin’s smooth, clear, mellow tones rang throughout a range he used but never seemed to exploit.
When Kenny Rankin sang a cover, it became his own yet could stand shoulder to shoulder with the original, not in its shadow. He often unlocked their potential, making them sound both familiar, yet original.
This cover of a famous Jazz tune, “Round Midnight” showcases his incredible gifts.
And this rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Creepin'” (also one of my favorite Stevie Wonder tunes) always amazed me.