The Great Jazz Vocalists of the 20th Century

GENINT 731.442

Osher (50+). This course explores the origins and developments of jazz singing with an extensive overview of important vocalists both legendary and obscure.

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About this course:

The jazz vocal tradition goes back to the early days of instrumental jazz and features many unique styles and characteristics. Early blues singers such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were often accompanied by jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Louis Armstrong himself introduced the idea of “scat singing” with his classic 1926 recording of Herbie Jeebies. Armstrong’s pioneering approach to singing influenced countless others, not only in the jazz field, but in the popular music world as well. This course explores the origins and developments of jazz singing with an extensive overview of important vocalists both legendary and obscure. In addition to the early female blues singers and the innovations of Louis Armstrong, we explore the careers of Billie Holiday; Ella Fitzgerald; Frank Sinatra; Anita O’ Day; Sarah Vaughn; Carmen McRae; Lambert, Hendricks & Ross; Mel Torme, and many more. We also discuss many of the important vocal arrangers and accompanists such as Fletcher Henderson, Nelson Riddle, Teddy Wilson, and Jimmy Rowles. The course is richly illustrated utilizing rare recordings, film footage, photographs, and memorabilia drawn from the vast archive of the Los Angeles Jazz Institute.

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