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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
VERVE 543 827-2

   Full Price

  1. Everyday
  2. It's Sand, Man!
  3. Two for the Blues
  4. One O'Clock Jump
  5. Little Pony
  6. Down for Double
  7. Fiesta in Blue
  8. Down for the Count
  9. Blues Backstage
  10. Avenue C
  11. Four Brothers
  12. Cloudburst
  13. Standin' on the Corner(Whistlin' at the Pretty Girls)

Vocals - Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross
Piano -Nat Pierce
Guitar - Freddie Green
Bass - Eddie Jones
Drums - Sonny Payne

The original 'Sing A Song of Basie' LP was released in 1958 after being recorded in 1957. The early 1950's were a time of great change in the jazz world; the LP record had caused all the jazz names to re-think their performances, to accommodate the new media. The term vocalese was invented at that time, to mean the use of the human voice, to replace the instruments of the Orchestra. Roy Krall and Jackie Caine were featuring vocalese with the Charlie Ventura Band, Annie Ross had a hit with 'Twisted, which was a vocalese version of the Wardell Gray blues composition. King Pleasure was also into the vocalese business at that time, but what had not been done was to use the human voice to replace all the horns in a Big Band. Lambert and Hendricks were great Basie fans and they wrote out the Basie arrangements for voices and rhythm section. They hired studio singers and were ready to record but it just didn't work the studio singers could 'sight-sing', but they couldn't swing! Annie Ross was brought into the group and it was decided that the three singers would multi-track record all the parts. Multi tracking was unknown at that time, but eventually the album was complete and the rest is history. Lambert, Hendricks and Ross became the most famous vocal group in jazz and appeared throughout the world!

The music has stood the test of time very well, if you missed it in 1957; this is a must for any jazz record collection. Tracks 11 to 13 record previous attempts Lambert and Hendricks made prior to joining up with Ross. To me only 'Four Brothers' is worthy of inclusion, but the others help to explain the way vocalese happened.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader in Coventry

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