Lambert, Hendricks & Ross! – The Hottest New Group in Jazz – with the Ike Isaacs Trio feat. Harry Edison [Tracklist follows] Columbia/ Pure Pleasure Records mono CL 1403 *****:</br>
Jon Hendricks – Fast Livin’ Blues – band incl. Pony Poindexter, Joe Newman and Freddy Green [TrackList follows] Columbia/Original Recordings Group 2-45 rpm stereo vinyls ORG 121, 37 min. ****:
The first of these reissues was the debut Columbia album for the amazing jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. (They had done an earlier one for Paramount: Sing a Song of Basie.) The lyrics by Jon Hendricks were renowned for often putting words to seemingly impossible instrumental breaks, and two of the ten tracks are originals by Hendricks. He’s considered the originator of vocalese—replacing many instruments with vocalists. Annie Ross wrote her own lyrics to the Wardell Gray tune “Twisted,” and it became one of her hits. Downbeat voted the trio the Best Vocal Group from 1959 thru 1963. The lyrics to only four of the tracks are printed on the album notes.
This was reissued by Columbia in the past as a stereo CD and that is all that is available at Amazon. So why the audiophile remastering is only mono is a moot point, but perhaps the stereo master has disappeared over the years (happens occasionally) and therefore only the mono version was available for remastering. The sonics are still terrific and the three voices come across with super clarity and impact.
TrackList: Charleston Alley, Moanin’, Twisted, Bijou, Cloudburst, Centerpiece, Gimme That Wine, Sermonette, Summertime, Everybody’s Boppin’
I hadn’t known about this 1962 solo release by Jon Hendricks. My first impression—that it wouldn’t be as good as Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, proved correct. Teo Macero was the producer at Columbia and all ten tracks here are Hendricks originals. At the time Time magazine called him “The James Joyce of Jive.” The Rolling Stones and Beatles were among his fans. Hendricks pursued a solo career more strongly after moving with his family to London in 1968.
The title tune, “Fast Livin’ Blues” is about needing to slow down or it will slow you down. “Saturday Night Fish Fry” sets the pace for a great party and makes use of many members of the Count Basie band, as does the entire session. In “I’ll Die Happy,” Hendricks takes the opposite view of “Fast Livin’ Blues,” and celebrates the eternal pleasure-seeker, no matter what. Not heard here, but Hendricks even penned lyrics to such classical numbers as “On the Trail” from The Grand Canyon Suite, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Pony Poindexter once introduced Hendricks as “our other instrumentalist—and sometimes he uses words.” The clarity of the 45 rpm pressings is superb.
TrackList: What Would You Do?, Fast Livin’ Blues, Saturday Night Fish Fry, Do You Call That a Buddy, I’ll Die Happy, Another Get Together, Good Old Lady, Contemporary Blues, Stop and Go Blues, I Never Get Enough of You