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Musician

Jon Hendricks

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Jon Hendricks is not only one of the world's favorite jazz vocalists, but is widely considered to be the "Father of Vocalese", the greatest innovator of the art form. Vocalese is the art of setting lyrics to recorded jazz instrumental standards (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie), then arranging voices to sing the parts of the instruments. Thus is created an entirely new form of the work, one that tells a lyrically interesting story while retaining the integrity of the music. Hendricks is the only person many jazz greats have allowed to lyricize their music, for no one writes hipper, wittier, or more touching words, while extracting from a tune the emotions intended by the composer, more sympathetically than Hendricks. For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the "Poet Laureate of Jazz" while Time dubbed him the "James Joyce of Jive."

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Article: Interview

Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker

Read "Sheila Jordan: From Motor City Vocalese to Pinball with Charlie Parker" reviewed by Scott Gudell


The dynamic big bands of the 1920s-1940s were led by charismatic and confident kings of swing including Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb and Gene Krupa. Smooth and sophisticated dance sounds could easily cross pollinate with other styles including the syncopated rhythms bubbling up from the streets of Harlem such as 'Swing Street.' Beyond a lineup ...

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Article: Live Review

Camilla George At The MAC

Read "Camilla George At The MAC" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Camilla George The MAC jny:Belfast, N. Ireland June 25, 2022 It was a sell-out crowd for Camilla George's Belfast gig, the penultimate stop on a ten-date tour of Ireland. In part, this no doubt reflected people's hunger for live music after the socio-cultural privations of lockdown, but above all, it ...

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Article: Album Review

Flora Purim: If You Will

Read "If You Will" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Everyone loves a great comeback, and, after a lengthy hiatus, Flora Purim obliges with If You Will, the Brazilian's first studio album since Flora's Song (Narada, 2005). Released to coincide with her 80th birthday, If You Will is a somewhat nostalgic celebration that polishes a few old gems from a recording career that began--under military dictatorship--with ...

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Article: Album Review

Alexis Cole: Sky Blossom/Songs from My Tour of Duty

Read "Sky Blossom/Songs from My Tour of Duty" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Alexis Cole is an excellent singer, an opinion endorsed by recent high-profile gigs at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Jazz at Lincoln Center and with the Boston Pops and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Even so, she is all but upstaged on Sky Blossom by Scott Arcangel's superlative arrangements (plus one each by Chris Walden and Mike Reifenberg) and the ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights

Read "Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


From early on, Buffalo attracted musicians as a place to live and pursue their artistic endeavors—and they were excellent ones: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Jimmie Lunceford, Pete Johnson, and Stuff Smith. Dodo Greene, two masters of polyrhythm, Frankie Dunlop and Clarence Becton, as well as pianist and bassist Wade Legge grew up here. Two distinctive voices on ...

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Article: Live Review

Jazz Gallery All-Stars at Tri-C

Read "Jazz Gallery All-Stars at Tri-C" reviewed by John Chacona


Jazz Gallery All-Stars Tri-C Auditorium Cleveland, OHMarch 6, 2022 What a difference a month makes. The Jazz Gallery All-Stars concert scheduled for February 3 at jny: Cleveland's Tri-C Auditorium was swept away when a winter storm driven by howling winds dumped 15 inches of snow on the city. A ...

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Article: Year in Review

2021: The Year in Jazz

Read "2021: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The jazz world continued grappling and adjusting in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Jazz Day again went virtual for the most part. Singer Tony Bennett put the final stamp on his touring--and likely recording--career after his Alzheimer's disclosure. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was headed to federal prison. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four ...

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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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