[JPL] Jon Hendricks Live on WBAI, Monday night, April 7th

Gregory Thomas gtjazz22 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 7 09:28:29 EDT 2008

Hear Jon Hendricks on WBAI’s Keep Swingin’ tonight from 9pm - 11pm
For Immediate Release: April 7, 2008
Tonight on radio station WBAI-NY join Jon Hendricks, fresh off a successful week at the Blue Note with sax legend James Moody, and Greg Thomas, host of Keep Swingin’, for two hours of conversation, music, syncopation and swing. Keep Swingin’ broadcasts from 9pm - 11pm on 99.5 fm in the NY tri-state area this evening (online at www.wbai.org). 
Hendricks will share insights on jazz history and culture, jazz education, and gems from a storied career of 60+ years as a vocalist, upper tier scat artist, and lyrical vocalese master. Vocalese—the art of setting lyrics to jazz improvisations and arrangements—finds no greater exponent than Jon Hendricks, who estimates that he has composed 300-400 vocalese lyrics. We’ll play and discuss classics of the form such as “Moody’s Mood for Love,” “Birdland,” “Cloudburst,” “Doodlin’,” “Freddie Freeloader,” “In Walked Bud,” and “Sing Joy Spring.” 
He’ll also reveal details of his experiences with Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Carmen McRae, Cannonball Adderly, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane and others in the jazz pantheon. 
Jazz critic Leonard Feather once called Hendricks “The Poet Laureate of Jazz.” The label suits Hendricks just fine, as he told Greg Thomas for All About Jazz-New York’s April 2008 cover story: “As a jazz musician, I would like to be remembered as a poet. That’s the highest level, because poetry is the highest use of the word. The language that one speaks attains its height in poetry; a person reads a great poem and his soul is ennobled. The Bible is poetry. Great literature is poetry. A good lyricist is a poet. Johnny Mercer was a poet: ‘Footsteps that you hear down the hall, the laugh that floats, on a summer night, that you can never quite recall.’ That’s poetry. So if I can be remembered as a poet, I’ll be happy.”  
Whereas the wit, swing, and poignancy of Hendricks’ vocalese lyrics rise to the level of poetry, his scatting prowess matches the drive and ingenuity of the best jazz soloists. On “Listen to Monk” he goes toe-to-toe with friends George Benson and Al Jarreau.  Listen in and catch his classic scat of the bass styles of Percy Heath, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus on Lambert, Hendricks and Ross’s “Swingin’ ‘Til the Girls Come Home.”
Al Jarreau calls Hendricks “pound-for-pound the best jazz singer on the planet—maybe that's ever been,” so tune into living legend Jon Hendricks tonight on WBAI, 99.5 fm from 9-11pm! 
Keep Swingin’ is a monthly jazz radio program on WBAI-NY (99.5 fm) hosted by Greg Thomas. Keep Swingin’ is dedicated to sharing the glories of jazz music, in all of its wondrous variety, from vocal to instrumental, from masters living and past to the upcoming musicians keeping the flame of jazz alive for future generations.
Greg Thomas, host of Keep Swingin’, has been writing jazz criticism, reviews and features for 15+ years as a print journalist. His April 2008 All About Jazz-New York cover feature on Jon Hendricks, titled “Vocal Ease,” can be found in jazz clubs across New York City, and online at http://www.allaboutjazz.com/newyork/. Thomas swings with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem as a consultant and producer, composes Playbill program notes for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and hosts the web’s first jazz news and entertainment TV show, Jazz it Up!. 

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