Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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... more »
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
Music to make you smile, daddy.
H. Brumfield | St. Louis, MO | 01/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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". In this, as in many of Eddie's tunes, he tells a bit of Miles' life story, raps about his fashion sense, the public's perception of him, and how far Miles' thinking was in the future. He reminisces about Charlie Parker in a treatment of Bird's immortal "Now's the Time", written just after his death. I love when Eddie sings Bird, because he's often required to sing a paragraph of words within one bar of music-- so fast you can barely make out what he's saying, but annunciated perfectly. Also a highlight of this album is his take on Coleman Hawkins' "Body and Soul", which I can't praise highly enough. And his version of "Honeysuckle Rose", which I first heard once ten years ago and has been planted in my brain ever since. He's all over it!"
Eddie was the hippest and foremost vocal interpreter of bop!
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 07/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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 !"