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The Great Jazz Singers/ Review For Midterm

For decades the question has been asked: What is a jazz singer? Some listeners claim that a vocalist has to scat like a horn (what do they consider Billie Holiday?) while others say that simply swinging is enough (do they include Tony Bennett and Jack Jones?)

A jazz singer is a vocalist who brings his or her own interpretation to a song and improvises through words, sounds, notes and/or phrasing. The difference between a jazz and a pop singer is that a jazz vocalist is spontaneous in concert. The goal is not to duplicate a record, but rather to express how one feels at the moment. Respect can be shown for the original lyrics and melody, but if one is only duplicating the written music, the chances are that the singer falls into the cabaret area.

George s Top 10(ok, 17) Jazz Singers

1. Bessie Smith(April 15, 1894 September 26, 1937) 2. Louis Armstrong(August 4, 1901 July 6, 1971 3. Billie Holliday(April 7, 1915 July 17, 1959) 4. Ella Fitzgerald(April 25, 1917 June 15, 1996) 5. Sarah Vaughn(March 27, 1924 April 3, 1990) 6. Nat King Cole(March 17, 1919 February 15, 1965) 7. Joe Williams(December 12, 1918 March 29, 1999) 8. Dinah Washington(August 29, 1924 December 14, 1963) 9. Nancy Wilson(born February 20, 1937) 10. Betty Carter(May 16, 1929 September 26, 1998) 11. Shirley Horn((May 1, 1934 October 20, 2005) 12. Bobby McFerrin(born March 11, 1950) 13. Cassandra Wilson(born December 4, 1955) 14. Dianne Reeves(born October 23, 1956) 15. Carmen Lundy(born November 1, 1954) 16. Shelia Jordan (November 18, 1928,) 17. Nina Simone((February 21, 1933

April 21, 2003)

Jokes about Singers

1. How do you know there's a girl singer as a patient on the intensive care unit? She's the only one that asks for more echo on the monitor. 2. A chick singer is always calling tunes in strange keys. One day during a rehearsal the piano player in the band has had enough: Pianist: Why the heck do you want to sing the tune in D? Why not take it up a semitone and do it in Eb? Singer: Eb? Isn't that faster? 3. How does a singer change a light bulb? She stands on a chair, takes hold of the bulb, and waits for the whole world to revolve around her. 4. How can you tell when it's a chick singer knocking at your door? Because she can't find the key, and she doesn't know how to come in.

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.

Bessie Smith-St. Louis Woman Bessie Smith-I'm Wild About That Thing By 1926 public enthusiasm for the blues is declining and Bessie's venues become less prestigious, she begins using more suggestive lyrics in 1927 in an attempt to stem falling interest in her music and records 'Empty Bed Blues' in 1928 which becomes a big hit.

Bessie Smith s death in 1937 were a major controversy; she was in a car accident and had lost a lot of blood. Some said she died because the white hospital would not admit her, but some say that they never would have taken her to a white hospital in the first place. Ah, the logic of racism ..

Louis Armstrong

I forget who it was that once said that Louie Armstrong was the greatest singer in the world without a voice. And he was because what Louie did to a song, nobody else could do. -Billy Eckstine

The question always arises: how could someone with an untrained voice -- a voice with limited range and a gravelly quality have such a profound effect on the course of American jazz and popular song? The answer is found in Satchmo's disparate vocal influences.

As a boy, Armstrong worked for the Karnofsky s, a family of Jewish immigrants; their music impacted his singing The Creole and Black bands of New Orleans impacted him He loved Bessie Smith, and also Enrico Caruso and Irish tenor John McCormick John McCormick-My Wild Irish Rose

Heebie Jeebies La Vie En Rose What A Wonderful World

Bing Crosby, a great admirer of Armstrong's, brought Louis' innovations into the world of pop music, first as part of the Rhythm Boys with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and then as the premier "crooner" of the 1930s. Crosby's baritone voice saved the world from the many "boy tenors" who were threatening to dominate music of the late 1920s.

Crosby... was important in introducing into the mainstream of popular singing an Afro-American concept of song as a lyrical extension of speech... His techniques - easing the weight of the breath on the vocal cords, passing into a head voice at a low register, using forward production to aid distinct enunciation, singing on consonants (a practice of black singers), and making discreet use of appoggiaturas, mordents, and slurs to emphasize the text - were emulated by nearly all later popular singers.

Just One More Chance Now You Have Jazz White Christmas

Billie Holliday

Ken Burns
Episode 6 49:38-52:54 Episode 7 1:10:49-1:15:51 Episode 8 1:28:49-1:32:30

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan[1] April 7, 1915 July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday "changed the art of American pop vocals forever."She co-wrote only a few songs, but several of them have become jazz standards, notably "God Bless the Child", "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow", and "Lady Sings the Blues". She also became famous for singing "Easy Living", "Good Morning Heartache", and "Strange Fruit", a protest song which became one of her standards and was made famous with her 1939 recording.

God Bless The Child Good Morning Heartache Strange Fruit "Strange Fruit" is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who released her first recording of it in 1939, the year she first sang it. Written by the teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem, it exposed American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had occurred chiefly in the South but also in all other regions of the United States.

Lyrics to Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the popular trees Pastoral scene of the gallant south The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh Then the sudden smell of burning flesh Here is fruit for the crows to pluck For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop Here is a strange and bitter cry

Lynching, the practice of killing people by extrajudicial mob action, occurred in the United States chiefly from the late 18th century through the 1960s. Lynchings took place most frequently in the South from 1890 to the 1920s, with a peak in the annual toll in 1892.

Ken Burns
Episode 6 1:19:29-1:26;56 Episode 9 1:08:44-1:13:14

Ella Fitzgerald

Ken Burns
Episode 6-1:10;58-1:19:24

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 June 15, 1996), also known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist.[1] With a vocal range spanning three octaves (Db3 to Db6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

St. Louis Blues-with Chick Webb Orchestra A Tisket A Tasket-with Chick Webb One Note Samba with Tommy Flanagan piano 1969 So In Love-from Cole Porter Songbook

Big Band Singers

During the Swing Era, every band had a singer, female and male. Sometimes, the singer was the bandleader(Billy Eckstine, Cab Calloway). But this was an era when instrumentals were more popular than vocals. That changed partially due to the recording ban of 1942. Obviously, it s rare that an instrumental song reaches any pop chart. Maybe there should be an American Instrumental Idol .

Recording ban/Musicians Strike of 1942-44

One unexpected result of the strike was the decline of the importance in popular music of the big bands of the 1930s and early 1940s. The strike was not the only cause of this decline, but it emphasized the shift from big bands with an accompanying vocalist to an emphasis on the vocalist, with the exclusion of the band. In the 1930s and pre strike 1940s, big bands dominated popular music; after the strike, vocalists dominated popular music.

Interesting .
It should be pointed out that before the strike began there were signs that the increasing popularity of singers was beginning to reshape the big bands. When Frank Sinatra joined Tommy Dorsey's band in 1940, most selections started with a Tommy Dorsey solo. By the time Sinatra left in 1942, his songs with the band began with his singing, followed by any solos by Dorsey or others.

Sarah Vaughn

Ken Burns
Episode 9 34:50-39:46

Sarah Lois Vaughan (March 27, 1924 April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described by Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." 1943 won a talent show at the Apollo Theater with a version of Body And Soul Sang with Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine Rose to Stardom in 1948 1954-recorded with Clifford Brown Hit songs included Misty and Send In The Clowns Also an accomplished pianist

Sarah Vaughn with Clifford Brown-Lullabye Of Birdland Misty I Got Rhythm Theme From Peter Gunn

Nat King Cole

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. He was one of the first black Americans to host a television variety show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death.

Nature Boy When I Fall In Love

Joe Williams

Joe Williams (born Joseph Goreed; December 12, 1918 March 29, 1999) was a well-known jazz vocalist, a baritone singing a mixture of blues, ballads, popular songs, and jazz standards. Started with Jimmy Noone in 1938 Worked with Lionel Hampton in 1942 Worked steadily with the Count Basie Band throughout the 1950 s

Everyday I Have The Blues-Count Basie Here's To Life

Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington, born Ruth Lee Jones (August 29, 1924 December 14, 1963), was an American blues, R&B and jazz singer. She has been cited as "the most popular black female recording artist of the '50s", and called "The Queen of the Blues". Won talent contest at age 15, started in Chicago clubs in 1941 1943-worked with Lionel Hampton Between 1948 and 55 had 27 top 10 R and B hits What a Difference a Day Makes was #4 on the Pop charts in 1959

From Allmusic guide:

"[She] was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century - beloved to her fans, devotees, and fellow singers; controversial to critics who still accuse her of selling out her art to commerce and bad taste. Her principal sin, apparently, was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style that was at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, blues, jazz, middle of the road pop - and she probably would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers was a gritty, salty, high-pitched voice, marked by absolute clarity of diction and clipped, bluesy phrasing..."

What A Difference A Day Makes Teach Me Tonight

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson (born February 20, 1937) is an American singer with more than 70 albums, and three Grammy Awards. She has been labeled a singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a "consummate actress"; and "the complete entertainer." The title she prefers, however, is song stylist. She has received many nicknames including "Sweet Nancy", "The Baby", "Fancy Miss Nancy" and "The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice".

Nancy s debut single, "Guess Who I Saw Today", was so successful that between April 1960 and July 1962 Capitol Records released five Nancy Wilson albums. Her first album, Like in Love, displayed her talent in Rhythm and Blues, with the hit R&B song "Save your Love for Me." Adderley suggested that she should steer away from her original pop style and gear her music toward jazz and ballads. In 1962, they collaborated and produced an album Nancy Wilson/Cannonball which propelled her to national prominence.

Guess Who I Saw Today Save Your Love For Me Happy Talk-from Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderly The Old Country

Betty Carter

Betty Carter (born Lillie Mae Jones, May 16, 1929[1] September 26, 1998) was an American jazz singer known for her improvisational technique. Vocalist Carmen McRae once claimed that "there's really only one jazz singer - only one: Betty Carter."[2]

All Or Nothing At All-with Dave Holland How High The Moon

Shirley Horn

Shirley Valerie Horn (May 1, 1934 in Washington, D.C. October 20, 2005) was an American jazz singer and pianist. Did her first recordings in 1960, went back to D.C. to raise her family Was Rediscovered in 1981, gaining much notoriety for 1991- You Won t Forget Me Used the same rhythm section(Charles Abels on bass guitar and Steve Williams on drums) for 25 years

Wild Is Love from Loads Of Love Here's To Life-arr Johhny Mandel 1992

Bobby McFerrin

Robert "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. (born March 11, 1950) is a virtuoso American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a tentime Grammy Award winner. He is well known for his unique vocal techniques and singing styles.

Blackbird with Chick Corea-Blue Bossa

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson (born December 4, 1955)is an American jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Jackson, Mississippi. Described by critic Gary Giddins as "a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack [who has] expanded the playing field" by incorporating country, blues and folk music into her work, Wilson has won two Grammy Awards.

"Destination" from Sine Die with Steve Coleman-1992 You Don't Know What Love Is

Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves (born October 23, 1956) is an American jazz singer. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado. Born to musical family in Detroit, raised in Denver Keyboardist George Duke is her cousin Moved to LA in 1976, toured with Harry Belafonte in the 80 s Signed to Blue Note in 1987

Softly As In A Morning Sunrise Speak Low

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy (born November 1, 1954) is an American jazz singer, composer, songwriter, actress, and painter. She has been performing for three decades, with a focus on original material. She has been positively compared with Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.[2] She is also the sister of bassist Curtis Lundy.

In Love Again Better Days

Shelia Jordan

Sheila Jordan (b. Sheila Jeanette Dawson; November 18, 1928, Detroit, Michigan is an American jazz singer and songwriter. Jordan has recorded as a session musician with an array of critically acclaimed artists in addition to a notable solo career. Although her mainstream success has been somewhat limited, Jordan's music has earned praise from many critics, particularly for her ability to improvise entire lyrics; Scott Yanow describes her as "[o]ne of the most consistently creative of all jazz singers."

Falling IN Love With Love-Portrait of Sheila 1962 Anthropology

Nina Simone

Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 April 21, 2003), better known by her stage name Nina Simone ,was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

Ain't Got No Mississippi Goddamn Four Women

It pains me to leave four of my favorite singers, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Jon Hendricks and Sammy Davis Jr. off of the list. I m guessing we are way over time at this point. Anyway here are 4 links: AL Jarreau-Spain by Chick Corea Chaka Khan-High Wire(Chick Corea) Lambert, Hendricks and Ross -Airegin Sammy Davis Jr. 1963 I've Got You Under My Skin

Review For Midterm

The Midterm will be multiple choice questions. You will have until 11:50 to complete the test. If you can not be at the scheduled midterm, please see or email me or Marc Hutchinson.