Eddie Jefferson

Lots of people may deny that they have ever seen them
Funny little people walking 'round in the sky
But I know myself I've seen a thousand little people
Every time I look into my baby's eye
Eddie Jefferson, "A Night in Tunisia"

The first vocalese performer to get anywhere at all. His lyrics for "Moody's Mood For Love" became a hit for King Pleasure in 1952, and got the whole vocalese thing moving. After Lambert, Hendricks & Ross made it popular in the late '50s, Jefferson sang with Moody and laid down a number of excellent tracks. After getting out of the music business for a while, he returned in the '70s, eventually teaming up with Richie Cole. Around then The Manhattan Transfer started hanging out with him, and actually commissioned him to set lyrics to "Birdland" just before he was murdered.

His lyrics tend to be either about the original artist or silly, both types pouring forth in an effortless stream of consciousness.



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