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Letter from Home

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Album Review

This CD (which augments the original LP program with two alternate takes) is a fine showcase for vocalese master Eddie Jefferson. Backed by either a tentet or a quintet that gives solo space to altoist James Moody and the tenor of Johnny Griffin, Jefferson sings his lyrics to such numbers as "Take the 'A' Train," "Billie's Bounce," "I Cover the Waterfront," "Parker's Mood" (the latter differs from the famous lines immortalized by King Pleasure), "A Night in Tunisia," and "Body and Soul," among others. Jefferson is in prime form and these boppish renditions as a whole form a near classic.

Customer Reviews

A Master vocalist

I can't believe nobody has written a review of this. It's a great album, and really opened my eyes to the possibilities of jazz vocal. He has a unique style and is so very tight with all of his solos. Kurt Elling, and other great modern scat singers owe a lot to this innovator.

Genius in the Ether

Hope this guy experiences a comeback from the grave. His syrupy vocals are legendary. Buy this album and you won't be disappointed. It's like a Lee Dorsey and Nina Simone voice baby. Is that possible? I'll just shut up and listen.

Biography

Born: August 3, 1918 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

The founder of vocalese (putting recorded solos to words), Eddie Jefferson did not have a great voice, but he was one of the top jazz singers, getting the maximum out of what he had. He started out working as a tap dancer, but by the late '40s was singing and writing lyrics. A live session from 1949 (released on Spotlite) finds him pioneering vocalese by singing his lyrics to "Parker's Mood" and Lester Young's solo on "I Cover the Waterfront." However, his classic lyrics to "Moody's Mood for Love"...
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Letter from Home, Eddie Jefferson
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