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Eddie Jefferson

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Although there were a couple obscure early examples (Bee Palmer in 1929 and Marion Harris in 1934, both performing “Singing the Blues”), Eddie Jefferson is considered the founder, and premier performer of vocalese, the art of taking a recording and writing words to the solos, which Jefferson was practicing as early as 1949. Eddie Jefferson’s first career was as a tap dancer but in the bebop era he discovered his skill as a vocalese lyricist and singer. He wrote lyrics to Charlie Parker’s version of “Parker’s Mood” and Lester Young’s “I Cover the Waterfront” early on, and he is responsible for “Moody’s Mood for Love” (based on James Moody’s alto solo on “I’m in the Mood for Love”)

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Infinite Variety of the Human Voice

Read "The Infinite Variety of the Human Voice" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show examines a wide variety of jazz singing styles, including frisky swinging by Annie Ross and Eddie Jefferson, vocal chorus work from New York Voices, wordless experimenting by Karin Krog and folk song interpretations by Maxine Sullivan and Sheila Jordan. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The ...

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Article: Interview

The Royal Bopsters: London Journey’s From Broadway to Belgium and Back Again

Read "The Royal Bopsters: London Journey’s From Broadway to Belgium and Back Again" reviewed by Scott Gudell


She may have been a newcomer, but singer Amy London began working with an A-List of fellow jazz pros right after she crossed the George Washington Bridge and hit Manhattan in the mid-1980s. They included stellar artists such as Fred Hersch, Victor Lewis and Byron Stripling. London gravitated towards American Standards and Broadway sounds. By the ...

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Article: Bailey's Bundles

Jazz Vocals 2021

Read "Jazz Vocals 2021" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Here are some notable jazz recordings heard this past year. Roseanna Vitro Sing a Song of Bird Skyline Records 2021 This release addresses jazz vocalese using Charlie Parker's music and is crafted by field expert, Roseanna Vitro while being recorded in two sessions (with two separate bands) on either ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Jon Hendricks: An Essential Top Ten Albums

Read "Jon Hendricks: An Essential Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Considering he reached the ripe old age of 37 before recording an album, Jon Hendricks' jazz legacy is remarkable. Although a singer, in his head he was more of an instrumentalist. When he improvised, he would imitate the tenor saxophone, the flute, the trombone, or the double-bass. His professional singing career lasted from 1932, when he ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Mark Murphy: An Essential Top Ten Albums

Read "Mark Murphy: An Essential Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Revered by jazz singers the world over, Mark Murphy is barely known to the general public--which is curious, since he enjoyed a recording career that lasted more than half a century, made 48 albums in his lifetime, and played thousands of gigs with hundreds of musicians from Norway to Australia. A notoriously mercurial and secretive character, ...

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Article: Interview

Clifton Anderson: Knowing the Road

Read "Clifton Anderson: Knowing the Road" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


New York trombonist Clifton Anderson has mastered his instrument from the 1970s on in jazz programs of his home town outside the conservatory (which he also attended), that were initiated by leading spirits of the music such as Barry Harris, Sam Rivers, and Reggie Workman; these informal, professional jazz circles gave him information, insights and inspiration ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!

Read "Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


A hundred years ago, on August 29, 1920, soon after jazz was born, Charlie Parker came into this world, and in the 35 years of a life cut short by addictions and impulse-driven living, he changed the face of the music. His innovations as one of the creators of bebop and his stunning sound and virtuosic ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Remembering Richie Cole

Read "Remembering Richie Cole" reviewed by Leo Sidran


Saxophonist Richie Cole died on May 2, 2020. He lived a jazz life all the way. His playing, his demeanor and his philosophy were all contained in his catchphrase / modus operandi: Alto Madness. This episode revisits conversations with him over the years, as well as recent chats with Janis Siegel and Ben Sidran about their ...


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