Jazz History Quiz #96

March 6th, 2017

The correct answer is Annie Ross!

Annie Ross, with Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert

Not just the canary female whose dexterous vocals highlighted recordings by the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Annie Ross recorded more than a dozen albums of solid vocal jazz and appeared in many movies. Though she was the last member to join LH&R, she had been pursuing the same pioneering fusions of vocal music with bop delivery for several years before she joined Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks.

Born Annabelle Lynch in Surrey, England, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of three, with the musical comedienne Ella Logan (either her mother or her aunt, according to differing accounts). By the age of five, she had begun acting and landed roles in the Our Gang series. She later studied acting in New York, then moved back to England where she began singing in nightclubs. Her recording debut came in Paris, with a quartet including James Moody. By 1952, Ross was back in New York and recording with most of the Modern Jazz Quartet for her first album, Singin’ and Swingin’. Later that year, she recorded an album with vocalese pioneer King Pleasure. Though she featured on only four tracks of King Pleasure Sings/Annie Ross Sings, her reprise of tenor Wardell Gray‘s solo on the song “Twisted” became a vocalese landmark.

During 1953, Annie Ross toured throughout Europe with one of Lionel Hampton‘s best bands (including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, and Gigi Gryce). She stayed there for several years and recorded albums for HMV and Pye before returning to America in 1957 when a New York nightclub engagement beckoned. While there, she did a vocal session with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks, who were working on an album of Basie solos transposed for vocals. Realizing they shared much in common, Ross was invited to join the group, naturally christened Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

An immediate success with their first album, 1957’s Sing a Song of Basie, the trio revolutionized vocal music with a set of light-speed scats that treated words as mere tools in the construction of exciting feats of vocal musicianship. Relentless touring and rumors of a falling out with Hendricks finally led to Ross‘ exit from the band in 1962. (Though LH&R soon became LH&B with the addition of Yolande Bavan, it was quite clear that Ross‘ role had been an important one, and the group disbanded less than two years later.)

Even while involved with the group, Annie Ross had continued her solo career with few interruptions. In late 1957, she recorded Sings a Song with Mulligan for the World Pacific label, with West Coast stars Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker in support on a set of bright standards that highlighted her interpretive skills as well as a few flights of vocal fancy. Two additional LPs followed for World Pacific, A Gasser! (with Zoot Sims) and a straight rendition of the Broadway hit Gypsy. After LH&R split, she moved back to England and resumed her stage and film career, recording only three more albums during the ’60s. A few years back in Los Angeles gained her parts in high-profile movies during the ’80s and ’90s, including Superman III, Pump Up the Volume, and Robert Altman‘s Short Cuts. For the latter film, she recorded several numbers for the soundtrack, and re-emerged with a new recording for 1995, Music Is Forever.

  • John Bush, for the All Music Guide to Jazz

 

_____

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross sing “Airegin”

Play another Jazz History Quiz!

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In this Issue

photo of Sullivan Fortner by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

Interview

photo by Michael Lionstar
In a wide-ranging interview, Nate Chinen, former New York Times jazz critic and currently the director of editorial content for WBGO (Jazz) Radio, talks about his book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century,, described by Herbie Hancock as a “fascinating read” that shows Chinen’s “firm support of the music

Short Fiction

photo by Alysa Bajenaru
"Crossing the Ribbon" by Linnea Kellar is the winning story of the 51st Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest

Poetry

photo of Stan Getz by Veryl Oakland
Seventeen poets contribute to the Summer, 2019 collection of jazz poetry reflecting an array of energy, emotion and improvisation

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Pressed for All Time

In this edition, Michael Jarrett interviews producer Nat Hentoff about the experience of working with Charles Mingus at the time of Mingus’ 1961 album. Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus — recorded for Hentoff’s short-lived label Candid Records

Art

"Dreaming of Bird at Billy Bergs" - by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — a continuing series

Poetry

Painting of John Coltrane by Tim Hussey
“broken embouchure” — a poem by M.T. Whitington

Art

photo of Chet Baker by Veryl Oakland

Jerry Jazz Musician regularly publishes a series of posts featuring excerpts of the photography and stories/captions found in Jazz in Available Light by Veryl Oakland. In this edition, Mr. Oakland's photographs and stories feature Yusef Lateef and Chet Baker

Interviews

photo by Francis Wolff, courtesy of Mosaic Records
Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

Poetry

photo from Pixabay
“The Fibonacci Quartet Plays Improv” — a poem by Gerard Furey

Short Fiction

“The Stories of Strange Melodies” a story by Vivien Li , was a finalist in our recently concluded 51st Short Fiction Contest.

In the previous issue

Michael Cuscuna
Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records co-founder, is interviewed about his successful career as a jazz producer, discographer, and entrepreneur...

Contributing writers

Site Archive