Soul-Jazz Vocal




Great singers in soul jazz number surprisingly few. Jazz vocalists probably found the style too self-consciously hip, especially as soul and other styles were rife with great vocalists. Bob Dorough, Mose Allison, Oscar Brown, Jr., and others continued in their own inimitable fashions. Along came Leon Thomas. Respecting the scat and vocalese traditions, and adding his own brand of inspired yodeling, Leon Thomas emerged as the Coltrane of the era's vocalists. In addition to his concoctions, he paid tribute to Horace Silver, Milt Jackson, and others with remarkably successful lyricized versions of hip jazz chestnuts.

Vocal soul-jazz classics are rare. Dee Dee Bridgewater's version of "Afro-Blue" is a late one, and Billy Paul ranks high. Many vocal hits are odd bits and pieces by normally instrumental groups, for instance "Harlem River Drive" and Lonnie Smith's "Move Your Hand." Soul and funk stars occasionally sang jazz numbers, of course.



Soul-Jazz Vocal LPs

Rating
7Cannonball Adderley Presents Love, Sex, & the Zodiac; Fantasy F-9445; 1972 (spoken)
7Cannonball Adderley Presents Soul Zodiac; Capitol SVBB-11025; 1972 (spoken)
7Mose Allison Sings; Prestige PR-7279; 1963
7Mose Allison: Transfiguration of Hiram Brown; Columbia CS/CL-1444
7Mose Allison: I Love the Life I Live; Columbia CS-8365/CL-1565 (partly piano instrumental)
8Mose Allison Takes to the Hills; Columbia/Epic Jazz Series LA-16031
7Mose Allison: Retrospective; Columbia/CBS C-30564 (compilation)
7Mose Allison: I Don't Worry About a Thing; Atlantic SD-1389; 1962
Mose Allison: Swingin' Machine; Atlantic SD-1398
8Mose Allison: The Word from Mose; Atlantic SD-1424; 1965
7Mose Allison: Mose Alive!; Atlantic SD-1450; 1965
Mose Allison: Wild Man on the Loose; Atlantic SD-1456
8Mose Allison: I've Been Doin' Some Thinkin'; Atlantic SD-1511; 1968
8Mose Allison: The Best of; Atlantic SD-1542; 1970
6Mose Allison: Hello There, Universe; Atlantic SD-1550; 1970
6Mose Allison: Mose in Your Ear; Atlantic SD-1627; 1972 (live)
6Mose Allison: Your Mind is on Vacation; Warner/Atlantic SD-1691; 1976 (several remakes)
7Mose Allison: Middle Class White Boy; Warner/Elektra Musician E1-60125; 1982
7Mose Allison: Lessons in Living; Warner/Elektra Musician 60237; 1983/1982 (live)
8Anita O'Day & Cal Tjader: Time for 2; Verve V6-8472; 1962
7Dee Dee Bridgewater: Afro Blue; Trio PAP-9258; 1974 (Japan)
7Bob Dorough: Yardbird Suite; Bethlehem; 1956 (BCP-6023 1976)
6Eddie Gale: Black Rhythm Happening; Liberty/Blue Note BST-84320 (trumpet-led but mainly vocal)
7Herb Geller: Rhyme & Reason; Atlantic SD-1681; 1975
8Norman Habel/Richard Koehneke: For Mature Adults Only..; Fortress Records/MosAnn Enterprises/Bob Mosley BM-768; 1968 (spoken w/music; w/Corky Hale--harp & voice, Joe Newman, Eric Gale, Chuck Rainey, Martin Luther High School Choir..; soul-jazz vocal, funky gospel, harp, kid funk, sex ed, strange religion)
8J.J. Jackson's Dilemma; Perception PLP-3; 1970
7Ahmad Jamal with Voices: Cry Young; Chess/Cadet LPS-792; 1967
6Ahmad Jamal with Voices: The Bright, the Blue, & the Beautiful; Chess/Cadet LPS-807; 1968
8Eddie Jefferson: Body & Soul; Prestige PRST-7619; 1968
9Novi Singers: Rien ne va plus; Polskie Nagrania Warszaw/Muza SXL-1009
9Eddie Palmieri: Harlem River Drive; Roulette SR-3004; 1971 (Jimmy Norman, vocal)
7Kellee Patterson: Maiden Voyage; Black Jazz BJ-12
8Billy Paul: Going East; CBS/Philadelphia International Z-30580
8Duke Pearson: How Insensitive; Blue Note BST-84344 (mod vocal/bossa/gospel)
8Aldemaro Romero & his Onda Nueva; Columbia/CBS KC-31253; 1972 (uptempo Venezuelan bossa w/mod chorus)
8The Third Wave: Here & Now; MPS 14.263; 1970/1969-70 (George Duke; w/poster as Crippled Dick 44141; 1999)
Leon Thomas: [n/a]; RCA Victor; unreleased/1958
7Leon Thomas: Spirits Known & Unknown--New Vocal Frontiers; Flying Dutchman FD-10115; 1969 (partly live)
8The Leon Thomas Album; Mainstream/Flying Dutchman FDS-132; 1970 (RCA/Flying Dutchman FD-10132)
5H. Rap Brown/Leon Thomas: SNCC'S Rap; Mainstream/Flying Dutchman FDS-136; 1970/1969-70 (live; 3 Leon Thomas parts)
6Leon Thomas: Gold Sunrise on Magic Mountain; Mega Flying Dutchman Series M51-5003; 1971 (live)
8Leon Thomas in Berlin; Atco/Flying Dutchman FD-10132; 1971 (live, with Oliver Nelson)
8Leon Thomas: Blues & the Soulful Truth; Flying Dutchman FD-10155; 1972
4Leon Thomas: Full Circle; Flying Dutchman FD-10167; 1973
8Leon Thomas: Facets--The Legend of Leon Thomas; Flying Dutchman FD-10167; 1974 (compilation, w/poster)
9Somethin' Cool: Voices in Latin; Mercury/Pulsar AR-10601 (mod, like Novi Singers, more bossa than Latin)
7Heidelinde Weis: So sing ich; Intercord 26486-1-U; 1975 (Germany)
6Pascal von Wroblewski: Swinging Pool; Amiga 8-56-215; 1986 (Germany)


Partly Soul-Jazz Vocal LPs

Rating
7Clifford Coulter: East Side San Jose; ABC/Impulse AS-9197; 1970
8Clifford Coulter: Do it Now, Worry About it Later; ABC/Impulse AS-9216; 1971
7George Duke: I Love the Blues She Heard My Cry; MPS MC-25671; 1975 ("Chariot")
7Johnny Hodges w/Leon Thomas & Oliver Nelson: 3 Shades of Blue; Flying Dutchman FD-10120; 1970
7Phil Moore III & the Afro Latin Soultet: Afro Brazil Oba!; Capitol/Tower ST-5085
8Shades of Joy; Mercury/Fontana SRF-67592; 1969 (Martin Fierro, Millie Foster-vocalist, Jackie King, Edward Adams, Jymm Young, Jose Rodriguez)
7The Voices of East Harlem; Right On Be Free; Elektra EKS-74080
6The Voices of East Harlem; Just Sunshine JSS-7; 1973
8Kenny Smith Quartet/Mauricio Smith Quintet/Mike Abeni Trio: Drum Star; Music Minus One MMO-4074; 1972/1971 (deluxe box w/book; features Dee Dee Bridgewater)
8Kenny Smith Quartet/Mauricio Smith Quintet/Mike Abeni Trio: Drumpadstickskin; Music Minus One MMO-4075; 1972/1971 (deluxe box w/book; features Dee Dee Bridgewater)


Soul-Jazz Vocal 45s

Rating
6Leon Thomas: Thank You Baby Parts 1 & 2; Don King DK-102; 1975 (co-arr. w/Neal Creque)
6Leon Thomas: Tonight/Leon's Blues; Sunshine SSB-725; 1977


Other Hip Vocal LPs

Rating
8Count Basie: Sing Along with Basie; Roulette SR-52018 (w/Joe Williams, Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross; Emus ES-12004)
8Oscar Brown, Jr.: Sin & Soul; Columbia CS-8377; 1960
7Oscar Brown, Jr.: Between Heaven & Hell; Columbia CS-8574; 1962
5Oscar Brown, Jr./Jean Pace/Sivuca: Joy OC; RCA Victor LSO-1166; 1970
6Oscar Brown, Jr.: Movin' On; Atlantic SD-1629; 1972 (arr. & cond. William Eaton)
4Oscar Brown, Jr.: Fresh; Atlantic SD-18106; 1974
6Christy Minstrels: East Meets West; Karan AW-14304; 1979 ("South American Getaway")
7Sammy Davis, Jr. & Count Basie: Our Shining Hour; Verve V6-8605 (arr. cond. Quincy Jones)
7Jon Hendricks Recorded in Person at the Trident; Mercury/Smash SRS-67069; 1965
7Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross: Sing a Song of Basie; ABC-Paramount; 1957 (MCA/Impulse AS-83)
7Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross: The Swingers; World Pacific WP-1264 (w/Zoot Sims; EMI/Affinity AFF-131; 1984)
8Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross: The Hottest New Group in Jazz; Columbia CS-8198 (w/Ike Isaacs Trio; reissued as Best of; Columbia C-32911)
7Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross Sing Ellington; Columbia CS-8310 (w/Ike Isaacs Trio)
8Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross: High Flying With; Columbia CS-8475; 1961 (w/Ike Isaacs Trio)
8Annie Ross: Fill My Heart with Song; Decca DL-74922 (prod. John Barry; Annie Ross Sings a Handful of Songs; Everest 1227)
8Various: The Bebop Singers--Eddie Jefferson, Joe Carroll, & Annie Ross; Prestige PRT-7828; 1972/1952-53 (original "Twisted")


Partly Soul-Jazz Vocal LPs

Rating
7Carlos Garnett: Black Love; Muse 5040; 1974; ("Mother of the Future" features Carlos Chambers imitating Leon Thomas's yodel; other singers: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ayodele Jenkins)
7The Louis Hayes Group: Variety is the Spice; Gryphon G-787; 1979 (w/Leon Thomas)
7Carmell Jones in Europe--1965-66; MPS; 1965-67 (Prestige PRST-7669; 1969; w/Annie Ross & Pony Poindexter)


Soul-Jazz Vocal 45s

Rating
7C.C. Review: Compared to What/Fly High; C.C. Review CC-2 ("Cabaret Corp."--soul jazz/lounge act)
8Space: Return from Panama/Panacea; Arigato AR-600 (spiritual soul jazz)


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