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  1. So What? [3:27]

  2. Moody’s Mood for Love [3:04]

  3. Sister Sadie [2:35]

  4. It’s Only A Paper Moon [2:58]

  5. T.D.’s Boogie Woogie [3:21]

  6. Now is the Time [2:54]

  7. Body & Soul [3:27]

  8. Workshop [2:50]

  9. Sherry [2:58]

  10. Baby Girl [3:08]

  11. Memphis [2:54]

  12. Honeysuckle Rose [2:12]

  13. The Preacher [2:30]

  14. Night Train [2:28]

  15. NJR [3:19]

  16. I’ve Got the Blues [2:42]




    Session 1/19/59

    Johnny Acea- piano

    Frank Galbreath- trumpet

    Matthew Gee- trombone

    Bill Graham- baritone sax

    Osie Johnson- drums

    Musa Kaleem- tenor sax

    John McFarland- trumpet

    John Morrison- bass

    Sahib Shebah- alto sax

    Session 2/5/59

    James Moody- tenor sax

    John Coles- trumpet

    Clarenden Johnston- drums

    Musa Kaleem- baritone sax

    Gene Kee- piano

    John Latham- bass

    Tom McIntosh- trombone

    Howard McGee- trumpet

    Session 1/15/61

    Howard McGee- trumpet

    James Moody- tenor sax

    Musa Kaleem- baritone sax

    John Latham- bass

    Osie Johnson- drums

    Babs Gonzalez- vocals

    Honey Gordon- vocals

    Eddie Jefferson (1918-1979) was a jazz singer who created a singing style known as vocalese, inventing lyrics for previously instrumental-only jazz solos. His style was unusual, and his vocalese lyrics and delivery were uniquely his own. His first creation was the lyrics for Moody’s Mood for Love, a song patterned after I’m In the Mood For Love, and first recorded by singer King Pleasure in 1952. This album features 16 vocalese songs performed by Eddie during three recording sessions between 1959 and 1961, at Bell Sound Studio in New York. Some of these tunes are not strictly vocalese as defined, since several of them already had lyrics. Honeysuckle Rose was composed by Fats Waller, with original lyrics by Andy Razaf. McKinney’s Cotton Pickers recorded the tune in 1930, and Charlie Parker’s famous bop version appeared around 1940. Eddie performs a blazing scat version accompanied by pianist Gene Kee and drummer Clarenden Johnston, with a lively trumpet solo by John Coles. Body and Soul was composed by Johnny Green in 1930, and made famous by Coleman Hawkins when he recorded his tenor sax version in 1939. Eddie’s lyrics to the song describe Hawkins’ style of playing, as well as his world travels. So What was composed by Miles Davis and appeared on his 1959 Kind of Blue album. Similarly, Eddie’s lyrics to the song comment on Miles’ clothes and his behavior with the audiences. Now’s the Time was composed by Charlie Parker in 1945, an easy, bluesy song which Eddie converts into a vocalese tribute to the Bird. One of my favorite songs on this album is the Jimmy Forrest composition Night Train, first recorded in 1951. The tune is classic 12-bar rhythm and blues, and opens with a rapid-fire duet intro by Bill Graham on baritone sax and drummer Osie Johnson. Eddie’s voice is amazingly accurate and entertaining, singing sharps, flats and sliding half-tones in vocalese in his smooth baritone.

    Unfortunately, Eddie met an untimely end when he was shot and killed in front of Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit on May 9, 1979. This album was originally released in 1977. It was produced by Herb Abramson and mastered by Stephen Roane. The original liner notes by jazz author Leonard Feather are included with the disc. The sound quality is very good.

    Bruce McCollum

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