The Jazz Singer - Eddie Jefferson

Eddie Jefferson, the jazz singer, who is universally credited with creating the jazz solo vocal line made this famous recording in 1959. It was produced by Herb Abramson, a founder of Atlantic Records. He subsequently sold the masters to Inner City, a jazz label that had a meteoric rise and fall between 1978 and 1982. This recording has languished in that company's vault until now. The music includes the most famous songs associated with Jefferson, including Moody's "Mood For Love," a paraphrase on the standard, "I'm In The Mood For Love," "Body & Soul," "So What," "Night Train," "Sister Sadie," "Now Is The Time."

James Moody, the composer of the unique solo on Moody's "Mood For Love" is featured on this recording along with Howard McGee on trumpet, one of the bop eras shining stars. Abramson, who's discovery of such stars as Ray Charles and Ruth Brown, knew a good thing when he heard it. These vocals abound with skill, melody, and great enthusiasm. They were the forerunners of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Annie Ross, King Pleasure, and the Manhattan Transfer.

SKU: IC1016

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So What? Moody's Mood For Love Sister Sadie It's Only a Paper Moon T. D.'s Boogie Woogie Now is the Time Body & Soul Workshop Sherry Baby Girl Memphis Honeysuckle Rose The Preacher Night Train N J R I've Got The Blues (Lester Leaps In)

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Eddie Jefferson
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Howard McGee on trumpet, James Moody tenor saxophonist, Tommy Tucker pianist
SKU IC1016


Customer Reviews (2)

Eddie Jefferson – The Jazz SingerReview by Big Toots
Eddie Jefferson, the “president” and vox Bopuli of “vocalese” is comfortably and rightfully ensconced on the Mount Rushmore of Bop, if not the Hipsters Hall of Fame. Jefferson, who died in 1979, helped propel and advance the unique improvisational device – and art form also embraced by vocal artists such as Babs Gonzalez, King Pleasure, Jon Hendricks (along with trio partners Dave Lambert, Annie Ross, and Yolande Bavan), Giacomo Gates, and others. But, Eddie could swing like no other - hard. This superb collection of Jeffersonian jive validates EJ’s esteemed stature as it is a swing-for-the-fences and most enjoyable 16-tune tour de hip.

For those who dare to be square or are new to it, “vocalese” is a unique blending of originally-composed lyric content applied over the music of previously improvised (and very well-known) solos. The antithesis of Rap, it is creativity 3.0 – original hip verbiage overlaid onto the solo line and usually including content saluting said solo jazz great. With The Jazz Singer, Jefferson “sings” the classic melodies and “vocaleses” solos of Bird, Coleman Hawkins, Horace Silver, and others. There’s even a karmic hat-tip to vocal great, King Pleasure as Jefferson nails the King’s take on James Moody’s original “I’m in the Mood for Love” solo with Moody also appearing on the album.

Jefferson’s repertoire here is familiar, drawn directly out of the standard jazz canon. (Miles Davis’s “So What,” Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie,” Yard’s “Now’s the Time,” et al) Brilliantly, Eddie navigates his witty verbal creations and infectious inflections over the iconic classic solo content. That’s genius in action.

The accompanying musicians, including frontliners trumpeter Howard McGhee and the aforementioned Moody, rise to the fiercely-swinging occasion and frame Jefferson’s vocals superbly. The rhythm section pours gas on Jefferson’s fire throughout the session.

Eddie Jefferson – the Jazz Singer is about as hip and enjoyable as it gets. So, grab your beret and shades, tilt head on 1 and 3, finger-snap on 2 and 4, and thoroughly enjoy this classic trip from a legendary artist gone way too soon.

(Posted on 4/29/2015)
Eddie Jefferson: The Jazz SingerReview by Simon Sez
When it came to vocalese, Eddie Jefferson could not be beat. He wrote some amazing lyrics to the solos of others including “Moody’s Mood For Love.” I wouldn’t say that he had the greatest voice, but he knew what to do with it, singing like a saxophone. It is strange to think that he had been a dancer early on but never played an instrument for his choice of notes were like a horn from the bebop era.
The Jazz Singer is one of Eddie Jefferson’s best recordings. This is one of those records where every song is special. If I were to name the highlights, it would have to include every tune but, just to name a few, try “Body And Soul,” “So What” and “I’ve Got The Blues.” James Moody and Howard McGhee help out on some songs but Jefferson and his lyrics are the main stars.

Simon Sez: Eddie Jefferson, the King Of Vocalese, is at his best throughout The Jazz Singer (IC1016) which has more highlights than I can name.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)

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