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Eddie Jefferson

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”)

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 ...

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.

ARTICLE: RADIO

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 ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Vic Juris: Tension and Release

Read "Vic Juris: Tension and Release" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

This article was first published at All About Jazz on July 28, 2009. Vic Juris is one of the premier jazz guitarists in the business today. Perhaps less known than some of his peers, he is nevertheless admired by all of them and has accumulated, since his emergence on the scene in the 1970s, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Vocalese (1952 - 1961)

Read "Vocalese (1952 - 1961)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Arising out of bebop vocals, a number of singers in the 1950s began to replicate famous instrumental solos with the human voice. The practice, initiated by Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Annie Ross was known as vocalese and reached its peak in the extraordinary recordings of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Playlist Host Intro 0:00 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

August Birthdays, including the George Shearing Centennial

Read "August Birthdays, including the George Shearing Centennial" reviewed by Marc Cohn

August jazz birthdays this week on Gifts and Messages. We feature pianist George Shearing for his 100th birthday, along with Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker (2020 is the Bird centennial. Are you ready?), Count Basie and Lester Young. Among the living we give thanks for Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Cecile McLorin-Salvant and Branford Marsalis. And there are ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

La nicchia del canto jazz maschile

Read "La nicchia del canto jazz maschile" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

A eccezione di pochi nomi--in particolare Kurt Elling, Gregory Porter, Bobby McFerrin e il veterano Tony Bennett--il canto jazz maschile è nettamente sottoesposto rispetto a quello femminile. Esempi eclatanti di questo sono stati Jon Hendricks e Mark Murphy, scomparsi di recente senza aver avuto la considerazione che meritavano. Allan Harris e Fred Farell ...

Ten Artists: April 2019

Read "Ten Artists: April 2019" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Claudia Vorbach Is There a Time? Phoneector 2018 Claudia Vorbach follows up Come Down Easy (Phoneector, 2016) with these 14 smart original compositions infused with the swagger of a confident composer/singer. At first blush, Vorbach sounds like a relaxed Nora Jones, playfully whimsical and vocally daring. Vorbach sings with an assured ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2018: The Year in Jazz

Read "2018: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2018 was a busy one for the jazz world. The genre's version of the #MeToo movement resulted in a new Code of Conduct and other efforts to make the music workplace more equitable. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to St. Petersburg, Russia. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which ran a high-profile ...


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