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King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings (Remastered)

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Album Review

The brief life span of classic jazz vocalese singing found its first inspiration in these King Pleasure sides. Pleasure vocalized many bebop solos by the likes of James Moody, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young, often adding his own hip and witty lyrics to the mix. Initially issued on his debut, Moody's Mood for Love, the first eight sides here include solid senders like "Parker's Mood," "Red Top" (based on a Gene Ammons solo and featuring singer Betty Carter), and "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid" (Lester Young). Balancing out the boppish fare, Pleasure also delivers ballads like "This Is Always" (featuring the Dave Lambert Singers) and his own composition, "Don't Be Scared" (up-and-coming vocalese star Jon Hendriks guests). Future Hendriks cohort Annie Ross co-headlines this LP, matching Pleasure's best with hits like "Twisted" (Wardell Gray) and "Farmer's Market" (Art Farmer). Her wordless scat feature, "Annie's Lament," is a highlight as well. A must for bop and vocal jazz fans.

Customer Reviews


I am restricting my comments to the tract, "Twisted", based, of course, on the famous Wardell Gray recording of the same name. First, I consider Wardell Gray to be one of the great underrated talents of the bebop era. Dexter Gordon gets all the acclaim, but as a saxophonist myself, I always regarded Wardell as the superior player and greatly lamented his tragic death in Las Vegas. The Annie Ross "volcalese" treatment of his classic tenor sax performance is simply one of the funniest vocals ever recorded. Please give it a listen because it is truely memorable. I enjoy King Pleasure, but can anyone believe that his vocal renderings are superior to those of Eddie Jefferson? No way? But Annie Ross, on "Twisted" that is a one of a kind performance. Don't miss it!


Born: July 25, 1930 in Mitcham, Surrey, England

Genre: Jazz

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

Not just the canary female whose dexterous vocals highlighted recordings by the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Annie Ross recorded more than a dozen albums of solid vocal jazz and appeared in many movies. Though she was the last member to join LH&R, she had been pursuing the same pioneering fusions of vocal music with bop delivery for several years before she joined Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks. Born Annabelle Lynch in Surrey, England, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of three, with...
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