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Vocalese - Earlier Recordings

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  • Scott Alexander
    I d go a lot further back for the first vocalese recordings. The Norfolk Jazz Quartette http://www.redhotjazz.com/norfolk.html was doing this type of stuff as
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 30, 2006
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      I'd go a lot further back for the first vocalese recordings. The Norfolk
      Jazz Quartette http://www.redhotjazz.com/norfolk.html was doing this
      type of stuff as early as 1921 on records like Jelly Roll Blues, Big Fat
      Mamma, Wang Wang Blues, Get Hot.

      Scott Alexander
      The Red Hot Jazz Archive
      www.redhotjazz.com
    • Howard Rye
      ... I think what is sought as vocalese, Scott, is specifically the setting of a vocal line to a pre-existing (and by definition recorded) instrumental solo.
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 31, 2006
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        on 30/7/06 19:58, Scott Alexander at scott@... wrote:

        > I'd go a lot further back for the first vocalese recordings. The Norfolk
        > Jazz Quartette http://www.redhotjazz.com/norfolk.html was doing this
        > type of stuff as early as 1921 on records like Jelly Roll Blues, Big Fat
        > Mamma, Wang Wang Blues, Get Hot.

        I think what is sought as vocalese, Scott, is specifically the setting of a
        vocal line to a pre-existing (and by definition recorded) instrumental solo.

        African-American singers have been vocalizing "instrumental" lines since the
        earliest days of recording but these lines are as far as we can tell
        independent creations, not vocalizations of previous instrumental
        improvisations.

        Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
        howard@...
        Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
      • Scott Alexander
        Howard, I agree with your definition of vocalese but I ask you and the other people on the list to humor me and consider the Norfolk Jazz Quartette s 1921
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 31, 2006
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          Howard,
          I agree with your definition of vocalese but I ask you and the other
          people on the list to humor me and consider the Norfolk Jazz Quartette's
          1921 version of "Wang Wang Blues"
          http://redhotjazz.com/songs/norfolk/wangwangblues.ram as a vocalese
          version of Paul Whiteman's 1920 version of "Wang Wang Blues"
          http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/whiteman/wngwngac.ram

          It seems to me that the Norfolk Jazz Quartette is trying to capture the
          same type of jazzy instrumental effects as on Whiteman's big hit version
          of the song by using words in a way that could be considered vocalese.
          What is Marion Harris doing that the Norfolk Jazz Quartette is not doing
          might be another way of looking at it? Is Marion Harris really singing
          the Trumbauer solos?

          For your reference:
          Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra's 1927 version of "Singin' The Blues"
          http://redhotjazz.com/songs/tram/singintheblues.ram
          Marion Harris' 1934 version of "Singin' The Blues"
          http://redhotjazz.com/songs/harris/singintheblues.ram
          and let's not forget The Orignal Dixieland Jazz Bands big hit 1920 version
          of "Margie (Introducing, "Singin' The Blues") "
          http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/ODJB/margie.ram . "Singin' The Blues"
          kicks in at about 1:50.

          It's an academic question, but kind of fun to think about. I thought
          this article was an interesting spin on the whole thing
          http://www.harmonyware.com/JonHendricks/vocalese.html


          Scott Alexander
          The Red Hot Jazz Archive
          www.redhotjazz.com



          Howard Rye wrote:
          > on 30/7/06 19:58, Scott Alexander at scott@... wrote:
          >
          >
          >> I'd go a lot further back for the first vocalese recordings. The Norfolk
          >> Jazz Quartette http://www.redhotjazz.com/norfolk.html was doing this
          >> type of stuff as early as 1921 on records like Jelly Roll Blues, Big Fat
          >> Mamma, Wang Wang Blues, Get Hot.
          >>
          >
          > I think what is sought as vocalese, Scott, is specifically the setting of a
          > vocal line to a pre-existing (and by definition recorded) instrumental solo.
          >
          > African-American singers have been vocalizing "instrumental" lines since the
          > earliest days of recording but these lines are as far as we can tell
          > independent creations, not vocalizations of previous instrumental
          > improvisations.
          >
          > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          > howard@...
          > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
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          >
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        • Howard Rye
          ... Yes, I certainly agree with you that that is what they are trying to do on Wang Wang Blues, and more specifically than on, say, Get Hot or Strut Miss
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 31, 2006
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            on 31/7/06 20:39, Scott Alexander at scott@... wrote:

            > I agree with your definition of vocalese but I ask you and the other
            > people on the list to humor me and consider the Norfolk Jazz Quartette's
            > 1921 version of "Wang Wang Blues"
            > http://redhotjazz.com/songs/norfolk/wangwangblues.ram as a vocalese
            > version of Paul Whiteman's 1920 version of "Wang Wang Blues"
            > http://www.redhotjazz.com/songs/whiteman/wngwngac.ram
            >
            > It seems to me that the Norfolk Jazz Quartette is trying to capture the
            > same type of jazzy instrumental effects as on Whiteman's big hit version
            > of the song by using words in a way that could be considered vocalese.

            Yes, I certainly agree with you that that is what they are trying to do on
            Wang Wang Blues, and more specifically than on, say, Get Hot or Strut Miss
            Lizzie, where they make a good stab at a small hot group, but not, as far as
            I know, any one in particular.

            The Monarch Jazz Quartet did that kind of thing even better later.

            Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
            howard@...
            Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
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