Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

162

Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross: Sing A Song of Basie

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross are pioneers of a unique singing style called vocalese, which involves replacing instrumental jazz with sung lines and invented lyrics. The method was first used by artists such as King Pleasure, who with a rhythm section backing him added lyrics to a Charlie Parker solo in a version that Parker hated. Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross took it to the logical next step, which was to duplicate an entire instrumental arrangement for voices; in this case, Count Basie's charts. Their first attempts involved an entire choir and were largely unsuccessful, mainly because Lambert had trouble locating enough singers that could swing the parts. They then decided to do all the parts themselves, using multiple overdubs, building each track from the ground up. This was probably the best way to do it anyway, since doubling and tripling up on parts makes the individual voices blend together well and cuts down on the clutter.

The results are instantly appealing and downright fun; the Basie charts are enjoyable enough as played by the orchestra, but gain a new level of excitement and a different spirit in these vocalized versions. The lyrics are written not only to communicate the feeling of each song, but also for the rhythm and sound of each word. Some clever interplay is created through the back and forth banter of individual voices, harkening back to the original source of call-and-response. The singing is impressive; some of these lines were difficult enough as instrumental solos, but singing them adds another degree of challenge. Hendricks in particular seems to have a knack for tongue-twisting, rapid lines delivered in huge intervals. Annie Ross has an impressive range as well; she can mimic the high register trumpet lines with ease. The smartest move of all was to include Basie veterans in the rhythm section; they keeps things firmly grounded in the spirit of the Basie orchestra and add the right amount of swing and authenticity to ensure a great delivery.

Vocals are always more


Track Listing: Everyday, It's Sand Man!, Two for the Blues, One O'Clock Jump, Little Pony, Down for the Double, Fiesta in Blue, Down for the Count, Blues Backstage, Avenue C, Four Brothers, Cloudburst, Standin' on the Corner.

Personnel: Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross, vocals; Nat Pierce, piano; Freddie Green, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Sonny Payne, drums

Title: Sing A Song of Basie | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Live at the Athenaeum" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Athenaeum
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Tribute to Bobby" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Bobby
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Let Your Mind...Space Out" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Mind...Space Out
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 26, 2017