Jon Hendricks, 96, Who Brought a New Dimension to Jazz Singing, Dies - The New York Times
Jon Hendricks, a jazz singer and songwriter who became famous in the 1950s with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross by putting lyrics to well-known jazz instrumentals and turning them into vocal tours de force, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 96.
Mr. Hendricks did not invent this practice, known as vocalese — most jazz historians credit the singer Eddie Jefferson with that achievement — but he became its best-known and most prolific exponent, and he turned it into a group art.
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, with Mr. Hendricks as principal lyricist and ebullient onstage between-songs spokesman, introduced the concept of vocalese to a vast audience. Thanks not just to his clever lyrics but also to the group’s tight harmonies, skillful scat singing and polished showmanship, it became one of the biggest jazz success stories of the late 1950s and early ’60s.
Une anecdote très intéressante, qui montre la grande difficulté que représente intégrer le jazz, s’imprégner de jazz. Même les choristes n’arrivaient pas a rendre le balancement, le feeling qui fait le jazz, ce lui qui ne s’écrit pas sur une partition, mais se transmet par le disque, l’imitation et la participation à la famille des musicien·ne·s de jazz.
Mr. Hendricks proceeded to write words for 10 songs from the Count Basie band’s repertoire, based on the original recordings. Mr. Lambert wrote vocal arrangements. ABC-Paramount Records agreed to turn the concept into an album.
Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Lambert hired a rhythm section to accompany their vocals and a 12-piece choir to simulate the sound of the Basie band’s reed and brass sections. When the choir had trouble mastering the rhythmic nuances of the Basie style, Annie Ross, a British-born jazz singer who had made some vocalese recordings of her own, was brought in to coach it.
Ms. Ross’s efforts to imbue the studio vocalists with the proper jazz feeling proved futile, and they were let go. She ended up singing on the session with Mr. Lambert and Mr. Hendricks; their voices were multitracked, a rarity in those days.
The resulting album, “Sing a Song of Basie” (1958), was a hit. In the wake of its success, the three vocalists decided to make their partnership permanent.
Étrange article du New York Times qui ne parle jamais des engagements politiques et anti-ségrégationnistes de Jon Hendricks, de sa participation à la NAACP... Pour cela, il faut se reporter au livre de Nicolas Beniès Le souffle de la liberté (►https://cfeditions.com/souffle1944)
#Jon_Hendricks #Jazz #Vocalises