Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: Cotton Tail
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
The Hottest New Group in Jazz (Columbia/Legacy C2K 61933)
Gildo Mahones (piano), Ike Isaacs (bass), Jimmy Wormworth (drums).
Composed by Duke Ellington & Jon Hendricks.
Recorded: New York, June 2, 1960
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
Vocalese, invented by singer Eddie Jefferson in the early 1940s, sets words to preexisting instrumental passages, usually note for note—in contrast to scatting, which consists of independently improvised nonsense syllables. In this case, Jon Hendricks combines Duke Ellington's 1940 romp "Cotton Tail" with Beatrix Potter's 1902 children's tale of Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail. After Hendricks verbalizes tenorman Ben Webster's solo, LH&R thrillingly re-create the headlong momentum of Duke's sax section. "If I hadn't been part of that group," Hendricks later reflected on LH&R, "it would be my life ambition to have been part of that group."
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz