RFI: Vocal jazz songform

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Is there a name for a kind of jazz song that seems to be based on a 12-bar blues but whose vocal line takes a lot of unexpected leaps and twists, almost like it was mimicking an improvised sax or trumpet line -- not necessarily scatting, though (although I think I've heard scatting in songs like this).

The only examples I know by name are "Oh Gee" (the version I know is Kevin Mahogany) Joni Mitchell's "Twisted." But I've heard it elsewhere, too. There was a song on the radio this morning about Charlie Parker that employed this form.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:02 (sixteen years ago) link

That should be "Mahogany) AND Joni"

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Vocalese?

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:04 (sixteen years ago) link

(Vocalese is taking other instrumentalists melodies and solos and putting words to them. Especially really stupid words. See John Hendricks, Kurt Elling, Eddie Jefferson, etc.)

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:05 (sixteen years ago) link

...and Robert Wyatt!

|a|m|t|r|s|t| (amateurist), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Hmmm, maybe! I just did some research, and I think the "Charlie Parker song" I heard today was by Eddie Jefferson ("Yardbird Suite"). Jefferson also does a version of "Oh Gee," too.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Man, I love the iTunes store for doing research like this.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:24 (sixteen years ago) link

See also: King Pleasure. And Lambert, Hendrick, and Ross. ("Twisted" ain't actually Joni's--it's Annie Ross's.)

Marcel Post (Marcel Post), Monday, 9 August 2004 18:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, "Yardbird Suite" is definitely vocalese. The original tune is classic tho

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 10 August 2004 00:26 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Ha, I just bought a 2CD Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross collection.

jaymc, Wednesday, 30 January 2008 20:29 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

That's the album with 3LPs on two CDs? That's really good. I just got a King Pleasure album called Golden Days. I was a little worried when I realized that the version of "Moody's Mood For Love" was a rerecord of the original hit, but the whole thing still sounds great. Also a prime candidate for the Wacky Liner Notes thread, having all this weird stuff about something called "Planetism."

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 7 August 2009 23:34 (eleven years ago) link

i was just listening to lambert, hendricks, and ross the other day. god, i love them. they are up there with jackie & roy and the hi-lo's in my unholy trinity of awesome 50's vocal groups.

scott seward, Saturday, 8 August 2009 00:19 (eleven years ago) link

I saw Annie Ross a few times earlier this year. She appears most Tuesdays at a place called the Metropolitan Room. Obviously she can't quite sing like a trumpet anymore, but she's still got it.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 8 August 2009 16:17 (eleven years ago) link

I have two words for you: Blossom Dearie.

Horace Silver Machine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 10 August 2009 22:17 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

Jon Hendricks and Kurt Elling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY7LHziBDcI&NR=1

Run-WmC (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 8 November 2009 16:35 (ten years ago) link

Which is not vocalese, but you should still click on it.

Bloggers Might Ride (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 10 November 2009 15:00 (ten years ago) link

Did not know about this Eddie Jefferson vocalese version of Coleman Hawkins's version of "Body And Soul."

steenship HOOSiers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 21 November 2009 23:43 (ten years ago) link

Wikipedia page on the subject uses LH&R's "Twisted" as sample example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocalese

steenship HOOSiers (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 21 November 2009 23:46 (ten years ago) link

One last thing while I have your attention: earlier this year I saw John Pizzarelli and his wife Jessica Molaskey do this crazy Jazz vs. Broadway "medley" where he sang some Jon Hendricks part which alternated with her answering him with a completely different song (by Sondheim), all of which added up to one super patter song that seemed to get faster and faster, His Girl Friday-style. It was amazing.

Welcome To The King Pleasure-dome (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2009 01:23 (ten years ago) link

OK, that would be "Cloudburst/Getting Married Today" and was released on Jessica Molaskey's Make Believe album.

Welcome To The King Pleasure-dome (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 November 2009 19:50 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

So apparently there is a new documentary about Annie Ross called No One But Me.

MIke Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 02:16 (eight years ago) link

Prior version of "Twisted" went missing, so here it is again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APS_3Q3mGlQ&feature=related

MIke Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 02:32 (eight years ago) link

WIth Count Basie! And a grinning Tony Bennett in the audience!

MIke Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 02:34 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Airegin (Sonny Rollins)
Newport Jazz Festival 1960

Wow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul54NWmwLxs

Hans Holbein (Chinchilla Volapük), Wednesday, 29 November 2017 09:04 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Never knew the name for this type of singing. Possibly the one thing that grates on me more than musicals and gospel.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 21:12 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRiZG8B9rmY

what a shite post!

calzino, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 21:42 (two weeks ago) link

RIP Annie Ross.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 22:17 (two weeks ago) link

love Mark Murphy’s “Stolen Moments”

brimstead, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 22:48 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vinwc5EBXzc

brimstead, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

RIP Annie Ross.
Thought this was what the revive was going to be about.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 22:59 (two weeks ago) link

King Pleasure, The Source:Think I may still have this double-LP collection: first platter is the essential, starting with his Greatest Hit, "Moody's Mood For Love,"-singing his words to James Moody's instrumental version of "I'm In The Mood For Love," (vastly improved by JM and KP, also by Pleasure's guest,Betty Carter). Also got an Eddie Jefferson anth somewhere, and think he might be considered more legit or something? And maybe Pleasure lifted some of his choice of originals? But frankly Mr, Shankly, I much prefer KP's words and singing.
https://www.discogs.com/King-Pleasure-The-Source/master/579137

dow, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:22 (two weeks ago) link

Oh well okay wiki sez "Moody's Mood" words written by Jefferson, and some prob think Pleasure's voice is too slick, but he still sounds better to me.

dow, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERpyU7oiDUE

dow, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:33 (two weeks ago) link

Aw crap. Anyway, most of his best stuff is on the 'Tube.

dow, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:37 (two weeks ago) link

Allan Harris and Kurt Elling two contemporary practitioners of vocalese. Harris even did an Eddie Jefferson tribute album.

King Pleasure seems to be considered kind of a weirdo maybe, but I like some of his stuff including his two Symphony Sid songs, “Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid,” which I believe was the vocalese or at least vocal version of Sid’s theme music, composed by Lester Young (and on some kind of split artist album with some Annie Ross material) and “The New Symphony Sid,” recently redone by Van Morrison. Eddie Jefferson seems a little more respectable and I like his stuff, but seem to recall Will Friedwald dismissing him for some reason.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:47 (two weeks ago) link

I saw James Moody once at the old Iridium and he played -and sang! - “Moody’s Mood For Love” which was great.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:48 (two weeks ago) link

The Van Morrison connection just came up, sort of, in Elvis Costello’s recent post about Annie on FB, about how he first came to know of her through a Georgie Fame cover. It’s was decades before I knew that “Yeh Yeh” (which EC’s wife Diana Krall did a duet with Georgie on a few years back) was a cover of the Jon Hendricks vocalese version of a Rodgers Grant composition.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:57 (two weeks ago) link

Co-composed with Pat Patrick of Sun Ra’s band.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:58 (two weeks ago) link

Which first appeared on Mongo Santamaría’s Watermelon Man album.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Album has an exclamation point so Watermelon Man!

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:03 (two weeks ago) link

xxxpost: Oh yeah, Moody could be great---did time in Vegas pit orchs, but re-emerged and kicked my butt via radio concert in the 80s. In "The South's Gonna Do It Again," Charlie Daniels seems to be fiddling the main "Syphony Sid" riff (the part that Pleasure sings as "Jumpin' with my boy Sid in the City" and so on). The track with Annie Ross I tried tp play is "Don't Get Scared": "When you see dan-ger facing you, little man don't, get, scared" (like they're telling you to dwell on "Get, Scared!") "Parker's Mood" starts with open arms, sunrise sound, "Come with meee, if you wanna go, to Kan-sas City." But somehow he works his way around to , "Goin' to Kansas City, sorry but I can't take you," which also seems very Bird, if he bothered with words.
Other faves: "I'm Gone" and "Red Top."

dow, Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:05 (two weeks ago) link

Actually I had heard that Herbie Hancock was subbing for Rogers Grant in Mongo Santamaría’s band when the lightning struck and they first played “Watermelon Man” together but apparently Chick Corea had been the pianist in that band right before that happened. The more you know! Guess Rodgers was the piano player right before Chick.

http://jazzstation-oblogdearnaldodesouteiros.blogspot.com/2012/04/rip-rodgers-grant.html?m=1

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:08 (two weeks ago) link

Mongo's "Afro Blue" was a big gateway...
for scatting (with some blending in of words at times), Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sheila Jordan are the best I've heard.

dow, Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:11 (two weeks ago) link

Love that tune. Just looked it up, first recorded version was with Cal Tjader’s band, with Paul Horn (!) playing the flute solo, Willie Bobo on drums or timbales, and some other guy other than Mongo taking the conga solo for some reason, Francisco Aguabella. Didn’t know/forgot that Oscar Brown later wrote the lyrics.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:18 (two weeks ago) link

Will Friedwald definitely does not like Eddie Jefferson. One of his blind spots, like Jackie and Roy, although lots of people don’t care too much for them I guess.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:46 (two weeks ago) link

Didn't know there were lyrics added--thread-relevant after all! Oscar Brown Jr. would be just the guy to do it.
Oh one other thing about Lambert Hendricks and Ross: on their trio=formative Sing A Song of Basie they got into/emerged via overdubbing, when that was not well-known (Sidney Bechet had done it, maybe Les Paul by then). I think they would add up to four tracks each---not seeing that exact figure here, but Friedwald makes the point, while describing the creative situation:
https://www.wnyc.org/story/great-jazz-and-pop-vocal-albums-lambert-hendricks-and-ross-sing-song-basie/ Maybe a career-making album, even though it elaborated quite a bit on what became their signature sound (at least live; I don't know if they ever took it this far in the studio again).

dow, Thursday, 23 July 2020 00:59 (two weeks ago) link

Adding lyrics to a melody not quite the same as vocalese. But yeah, thread needs all the help it can get.

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 02:58 (two weeks ago) link

Just picked up Dee dee bridgewater version of Afro Blue which was reissued by Mr Bongo a few weeks back.
Nice.

Also there's a recording by John Hendricks with an early version of the Grateful Dead on the compilation of their pre1st lp recordings that came with the Golden Road box.

Stevolende, Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:02 (two weeks ago) link

What?

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:20 (two weeks ago) link

Bob Weir:

”Jon’s mind and mouth are so fast that he’s able to get a lot of words into each measure with perfect enunciation. Just being in his presence made us think. Truckin’ has that same vocalese and vocal-harmony feel in places. I thought of Jon as we worked on Truckin’.”



https://www.jazzwax.com/2017/09/ad-hed.html

brimstead, Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:28 (two weeks ago) link

Don’t know how I feel about Jon Hendricks being blamed for “Truckin’”

Left Eye Frizzell (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 12:45 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16VLBmF8kXc

Stevolende, Thursday, 23 July 2020 16:56 (two weeks ago) link

suddenly want to hear a LHR or maybe Andrews Sisters cover of “truckin”

brimstead, Thursday, 23 July 2020 18:19 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe, but only if done in a medley with "Bei Mir Bistu Shein."

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 July 2020 19:51 (two weeks ago) link

Annie Ross, 1938

https://youtu.be/99OB6YeGjeU

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 July 2020 02:58 (two weeks ago) link

sorry, her star turn is at 4:44

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 July 2020 03:05 (two weeks ago) link

xxxxpost Speaking of Dee Dee B. and words added to instrumentals: dunno when Horace Sliver wrote lyrics of "Song For My Father"---maybe when he wrote the melody, but I didn't hear it sung 'til Andy Bey; my fave version is Bridgewater's, but worth hearing by whomever:

I wrote a song for my father in hopes it would give him a thrill after seeing Brazil.
My father’s music came through me but never got to me until
I went down to Brazil---
In Rio all day long, I heard my father’s song...

His father was Portuguese-Cape Verdean, born on a CV island.

dow, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 20:49 (one week ago) link

Thanks for the Dee Dee tip, Dow, really enjoy this “song for my father” performance of hers here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AapII8zmsdc

brimstead, Sunday, 2 August 2020 02:56 (one week ago) link

Oh your're welcome; yeah, she did a whole album of songs by and associated with Silver, lots of other sets worth checking out too--most recently, I think, a tribute to Nina Simone. Just now turned on the radio and heard most of a Radio Deluxe ep from 15 years ago: Annie Ross just happens to drop in on Jessica Molasky and John Pizzarelli, and hey Dad Bucky P. and a pianist are here too--they talk and listen to a couple of tracks from Annie's latest, I Want To Sing---more talking than singing, but tenacious, savoring the beat---also they listen to Joni Mitchell's version of "Twisted," and she tells how xpost Sing A Song of Basie came about, calling up Miles for him to listen to an early take ect., more stories,---quite a visit.
https://www.mixcloud.com/RadioDeluxe/aug-1-annie-ross-recalled/

dow, Sunday, 2 August 2020 04:09 (one week ago) link

Also, elements of "Song For My Father" appear in/are built on in Steely D.'s "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and Stevie W.'s "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing."

dow, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 16:59 (four days ago) link

From "Interlude," with lyrics credited here to Sarah Vaughn, later known as "A Night in Tunisia," words by Ella Fitzgerald? But wiki sez Raymond Laveen---anyway https://www.jazziz.com/a-short-history-of-a-night-in-tunisia-dizzy-gillespie-1942/ Striking, militant take from Tunisiatourism.info: https://www.tunisiatourism.info/en/articles/a-night-in-tunisia-histoire-dune-chanson I've long liked Chaka Khan's version, maybe I'll try to post it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZEMoXjl-Xg

dow, Thursday, 6 August 2020 18:07 (three days ago) link

From What Cha' Gonna Do for Me(1981), which I may still have somewhere. Liked it pretty well---remember it as blending her trademark sound w elements of jazz in various ways.
wiki: reminds me it haswith a guest appearance by Gillespie himself as well as what today would be called a 'sample' of Charlie Parker's legendary four bar alto break from his 1946 recording of the title. Khan's vocal interpretation also features lyrics written by the singer herself.[8]

dow, Thursday, 6 August 2020 18:14 (three days ago) link


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