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Musician

Babs Gonzales

Born:

Jazz singers used the scat technique, that means using the voice to create notes that are not words so the voice works like a musical instrument - and they also used slang in their music. Vocalists such as Slim Gaillard, and Babs Gonzalez were larger than life characters who used strange, funny new words in rhythmically complex phrases. Born Lee Brown, 27 Oct. 1919, in Newark NJ; he and his brothers were all called Babs. He studied piano at a young age and learned to play drums. He sang in clubs; wore turban in Hollywood late '40s, calling himself Ram Singh; worked as chauffeur for Errol Flynn; called himself Ricardo Gonzales (Mexican rather than 'Negro') so as to get a room in a good hotel. Babs Gonzales was a singer who did what he could to popularize bop, and was a pioneer in the scat vocalese style. He had stints with Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton's big bands, and then led his own group Three Bips & a Bop during 1946-1949

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The 2022 Christmas Jazz Show

Read "The 2022 Christmas Jazz Show" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Christmas Day has passed but it is still the holiday season so here is my Christmas show for this year featuring all kinds of holiday-related jazz tunes from the sacred to the very secular. The musicians heard on the program include Mars Williams, Diana Krall, Babs Gonzales, Nnenna Freelon, Jimmy Smith. and Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O. ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jazz and the Spoken Word

Read "Jazz and the Spoken Word" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show examines the intersection of jazz and various forms of the spoken word, including rap, beat-era jive and classic poets like Langston Hughes, W. B. Yeats, and Walt Whitman. The musicians interpreting these works include Babs Gonzales, David Murray, Christine Tobin, and Deborah Harry & the Jazz Passengers. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I ...

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Article: Year in Review

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

October Birthdays Featuring Art Blakey & Anita O'Day Centennial Salutes

Read "October Birthdays Featuring Art Blakey & Anita O'Day Centennial Salutes" reviewed by Marc Cohn


Indeed--October jazz birthdays. This week's show honoring the 90th birthday of Dan Morgenstern, as well as honoring the memory of Lorraine Gordon (who would have been 97 on Oct. 15th). Centennial salutes for Art Blakey, Anita O'Day and Babs Gonzales. Significant others include Zoot Sims, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Illinois Jacquet, Norman Simmons, Roy ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Listeners' Favorites

Read "Listeners' Favorites" reviewed by Marc Cohn


Every tenth show, we go through Mixcloud messages, emails, phone calls and 'stopped me on the street' comments to compile a list of tunes that grabbed you. Dr. Jazz offers some of the many selections that resonated with you from Shows 331 to 340. This is not just about the tracks that get the 'most votes,' ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

From Newk To Tatum, Trane And Wayne

Read "From Newk To Tatum, Trane And Wayne" reviewed by Marc Cohn


We kick off this week with a question from singer Teri Roiger, answered by John Coltrane (on the newly discovered Both Directions at Once sessions with the classic quartet). This week we also begin our Sonny Rollins celebration with tracks by singer Babs Gonzales from 1949, when Newk was a mere 19-year-old. And have ...

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Article: Bailey's Bundles

Ten Men

Read "Ten Men" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


My unscientific estimate contends that there are three female vocalists for every male vocalist. This does not mean that there are no male vocalists out there as evidenced by these ten examples. They just take a little longer to accumulate. Jay Leonhart and Tomoko Ohno Don't You Wish Chancellor Music

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Article: Album Review

Giacomo Gates: Everything Is Cool

Read "Everything Is Cool" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Federal regulations require food and beverage manufacturers to provide “Nutrition Facts" on all package labels. They want you to know what you're digging into. Now, if recordings had that same requirement, Everything Is Cool from Giacomo Gates might read this way: “Ingredients: 100% genuine talent and devotion to the true art of jazz vocalizing. All natural ...

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Article: Album Review

Giacomo Gates: Everything Is Cool

Read "Everything Is Cool" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Giacomo Gates was almost forty years old when someone suggested that he try his hand at singing. Luckily for the rest of us, Gates thought that was a good idea, moved to New York City later that year (1989) and began singing in clubs. Six years later Gates recorded his first CD, Blue Skies, and Everything ...


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