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Jazz Singer

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 18, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

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Edgar "Eddie" Jefferson was a multi-instrumentalist, and a versatile entertainer with a head for business that allowed him to become a player/manager in the band of saxophonist James Moody. Jefferson fooled around with the concept of imitating famous solos by scat singing, but took the idea a step further, putting words to the solos. He fashioned words to Moody's famous solo in "I'm in the Mood for Love," thus coining a style which was subsequently popularized by King Pleasure and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, and continues in vogue today. "Moody's Mood for Love" is included here, along with other adaptions like Miles Davis's "So What" and "Lester's Trip to the Moon (Paper Moon)." --John Swenson

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. So What
  2. Moody's Mood For Love
  3. Sister Sadie
  4. Lester's Trip To The Moon (Paper Moon)
  5. T.D.'s Boogie Woogie
  6. Now's The Time
  7. Body And Soul
  8. Workshop
  9. Sherry
  10. Baby Girl (These Foolish Things)
  11. Memphis
  12. Honeysuckle Rose
  13. A Crazy Romance (The Preacher)
  14. Night Train
  15. Njr (I'm Gone)
  16. I've Got the Blues (Lester Leaps In)
  17. Silly Little Cynthia
  18. Red's New Dream


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 18, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Evidence
  • ASIN: B0000014KD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By H. Brumfield on January 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm on a personal crusade to make the world get hip to one of the most underrated, overlooked pioneers of jazz, Eddie Jefferson. As early as 1939, he was experimenting with penning lyrics to recorded horn solos, a syllable for each note, note for note verbatim, and singing them while incorporating scat techniques. What was a fun way to kill time for Eddie eventually blossomed into a whole new area of jazz expression, called "vocalese". Because the first public exposure of vocalese was King Pleasure's hit record "Moody's Mood for Love", many mistakenly assumed that Pleasure was its father, an assumption that he actively promoted. However, the concept and lyrics to "Moody's Mood" were actually Eddie Jefferson's. This would set the tone for Eddie's relegation to virtual obscurity.
What I love about Eddie Jefferson's work, besides his wholey unique voice, honest and candid and smokey with 50's hipster cool, is his lyric composition which, by necessity, has a conversational quality. Both hip-hop and vocalese, because of their formal structures, demand a certain amount of verbosity on the part of the artist. Jefferson's lyrics aren't always as much poetic as prosey, like a street corner conversation that happens to rhyme in places. So, lyrically, he sometimes wanders off into some truly absurdist territory that is hilarious. "I saw a snake with hips/ A chicken with lips/ and that is why I ran away." If Dr. Seuss was a be-bop hipster! And as far as rhyme goes, Eddie is very much unbound by any expectations imposed by rhyme schemes. Through and through, theoretically, he is as spontaneous and free as the horn solo he is working within. And he knows how to pick 'em. This album finds him tackling one of the most beautiful solos in jazz, Miles Davis' from "So What".
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Sadly, most of Eddie's best stuff is out of print, but anything that ever came out of Eddie's mouth is worth listening to, and this album has a fantastic compilation of the early years. His lyrics and delivery will give you a birds eye view of Jazz at its wildest.... Humour, history, hip delivery... its been argued that Eddie Jefferson's "street wise"lyrics" would inspire the routes of hip hop.. Don't know if I would go that far, but as an aspiring Jazz student, Eddie's vocal delivery of classic Jazz solos (Bird, Diz, Bean, etc.) helped me appreciate the music we've come to know and love and understand its evolution. Once you've sampled Eddie Jefferson, and also heard Dakota Staton, Lambert Hendrix and Ross, Mark Murphy and King Pleasure, you'll burn your Michael Bolton records, get out the shades, and head on down to Kansas City (actually Eddie was from Pittsburgh, but he could really give those Bird solos a new light.) Scoop up all the Eddie Jefferson you can find ! Sister Sadie is bad !
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When I was very young, I use to watch Eddie Jefferson and Richie Cole play together many times, especially at New Years. I will never forget how Jefferson turned me on to scat.

Me. Jefferson was one of the greatest jazz singers ever. Volcalese was created by him with the lyrical writings to James Moody's "Moody's Mood For Love," taken from "I'm In The Mood For Love". Jefferson's lyrics were redone by singer King Pleasure, who made it a tremendous hit in 1952, extending Jefferson's lyrical popularity around the world with his interpretive rendition of Moody's playing and Jefferson's vocalese stylings.

Jefferson is in peak form on this Evidence CD which reissues an Inner City LP and adds six previously unissued selections to the program. The bulk of the music is from 1959-1961, with Jefferson backed by several horns including trumpeter Howard McGhee and tenor saxophonist James Moody, and sometimes three other vocalists.

Some of the highlights include Jefferson's original classic versions of "Body and Soul" (a tribute to Coleman Hawkins, the "king of the saxophone") and "So What" (dedicated to Miles Davis), a remake of "Moody's Mood for Love" and vocalese adaptations of a few Lester Young and Charlie Parker solos.
Eddie Jefferson was murdered after a an act by a drive by shooter, I think in 1979. What a great loss.
I recommend this CD to any serious Jazz collectors. [...]. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm on a personal crusade to make the world get hip to one of the most underrated, overlooked pioneers of jazz, Eddie Jefferson. As early as 1939, he was experimenting with penning lyrics to recorded horn solos, a syllable for each note, note for note verbatim, and singing them while incorporating scat techniques. What was a fun way to kill time for Eddie eventually blossomed into a whole new area of jazz expression, called "vocalese". Because the first public exposure of vocalese was King Pleasure's hit record "Moody's Mood for Love", many mistakenly assumed that Pleasure was its father, an assumption that he actively promoted. However, the concept and lyrics to "Moody's Mood" were actually Eddie Jefferson's. This would set the tone for Eddie's relegation to virtual obscurity.
What I love about Eddie Jefferson's work, besides his wholey unique voice, honest and candid and smokey with 50's hipster cool, is his lyric composition which, by necessity, has a conversational quality. Both hip-hop and vocalese, because of their formal structures, demand a certain amount of verbosity on the part of the artist. Jefferson's lyrics aren't always as much poetic as prosey, like a street corner conversation that happens to rhyme in places. So, lyrically, he sometimes wanders off into some truly absurdist territory that is hilarious. "I saw a snake with hips/ A chicken with lips/ and that is why I ran away." If Dr. Seuss was a be-bop hipster! And as far as rhyme goes, Eddie is very much unbound by any expectations imposed by rhyme schemes. Through and through, theoretically, he is as spontaneous and free as the horn solo he is working within. And he knows how to pick 'em. This album finds him tackling one of the most beautiful solos in jazz, Miles Davis' from "So What".
Read more ›
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