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Boppin' At the Blue Note

Jon Hendricks

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Album Review

Jon Hendricks, the genius of vocalese (writing words to fit the recorded solos of jazz greats), has long been one of the top lyricists in music. However, the emphasis during the first seven songs of this live CD is on scatting and heated bop-oriented improvising. Hendricks, assisted by daughter Michele, is joined by quite an all-star horn section — trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, trombonist Al Grey, altoist Red Holloway, and tenor Benny Golson — in addition to a supportive four-piece rhythm section. After a warm-up on "Get Me to the Church on Time," Jon sings some humorous lyrics on "Do You Call That a Buddy?," swings hard on his original boppish "Good Ol' Lady," and gets a bit lowdown on "Contemporary Blues." The biggest surprise of the date is "Everybody's Boppin'," which features scatting by Jon Hendricks, Michele Hendricks, and Wynton Marsalis. Wynton is quite effective and typically virtuosic in a manner similar to Dizzy Gillespie. Michele is excellent on an uptempo "Almost Like Being in Love" and "Since I Fell for You," while Jon sings the blues on "Roll 'Em Pete" and, together with Kevin Burke and Judith, Michele, and Aria Hendricks, performs vocalese versions of three Count Basie charts long ago recorded by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: re-creations of re-creations. This was Jon Hendricks' best all-round recording in several years and one of the finest jazz vocal albums to be released in 1995.

Biography

Born: September 16, 1921 in Newark, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The genius of vocalese, Jon Hendricks' ability to write coherent lyrics to the most complex recorded improvisations is quite notable, as were his contributions to the classic jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Hendricks grew up in Toledo, OH, singing on local radio. After a period in the military (1942-1946), he studied law but eventually switched to jazz. He spent a period of time playing drums before becoming active as a lyricist and vocalist. In 1952, his "I Want You to Be My Baby"...
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Boppin' At the Blue Note, Jon Hendricks
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