The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 10.04.11

The Pace Report: "The Wit and Wisdom of Gentleman Jon Hendricks" The Jon Hendricks Interview wsg Jimmy Heath

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Vocalese has been a developed musical vocal style that has been known in the jazz idiom for well over 60 years. It hasn’t just been in musical genre forever. Although all jazz and popular vocalists have been inspired and influenced by the likes of Ella, Sarah, Joe, and Dinah. The art of taking lyrics of a jazz tune and then improvise and phrase it where one scats and swings with their group, is a innovative and entertaining way to communicate a song in a new light. In the spring of 1949 the late James Moody recorded a very influential record named “Moody’s Mood for Love” based on Jimmy McHugh’s “I’m In The Mood for Love,” written and recorded in 1935. Moody was living in Sweden at the time he recorded it and was hit here in states. A jazz vocalist from Detroit, Michigan named Eddie Jefferson in 1952 wrote some lyrics to Moody’s tune and improvised the words by scatting to the melody. Two years later, vocalist King Pleasure recorded the record to cult and million selling status. McHugh sued for an alleged copyright infringement for his song and later won and was awarded royalties from any future proceeds and sales from Pleasure and Moody’s records. Vocalese took off and the world of jazz was almost never the same until a young man from Toledo, Ohio entered the scene in 1957 changing how the world heard modern popular music and also singing witty and thought-provoking lyrics that are now held as standards. Jazz at Lincoln Center kicked off their 2011-12 season with An Evening with Jon Hendricks and Jimmy Heath. Heath, a dynamic saxophonist and reedman, as well as bandleader and composer, closed the evening with this Big Band featuring Sean Jones, Terell Stafford, Victor Lewis, Antonio Hart, and Jeb Patton. Jon Hendricks, who is hailed as the “father of vocalese,” performed on his 90th birthday to a sold-out crowd. Hendrick’s set also featured some jazz luminaries that included Dianne Reeves,moreless

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