Jon Hendricks

Biography

Born: September 16, 1921; Newark, OH  
Jon Hendricks has been a successful vocalist, writer and critic. He's a master at imitating instrumental sounds, and has performed remarkable vocal accompaniment and harmonies. He's been a historian, critic for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1973 and 1974, and a theatrical director. Hendricks sang on radio in the '30s, after his family moved to Toledo. He sang regularly with pianist Art Tatum at 14. While attending college in Toledo, Hendricks Read more sang and played drums. He was advised by Charlie Parker to become a professional vocalist, though he was studying literature and had planned to become a lawyer. Hendricks toured Europe before moving to New York in the '50s. He wrote a vocal version of "Four Brothers" in 1955, recording it with Dave Lambert. Then Hendricks recorded "Sing A Song Of Basie" with Lambert and Annie Ross in 1958. The trio's performances and practice of putting lyrics to jazz tunes and the improvised solos on classic recordings made them a sensation. Lambert, Hendricks And Ross stayed together until 1962, when Ross had a child and was replaced by Yolande Bavan. This trio stayed intact until 1964. They made other albums for Columbia, World Pacific, ABC/Impulse and RCA. Hendricks recorded his own albums for World Pacific, Reprise and Smash, and recorded with King Pleasure for Prestige. Hendricks wrote lyrics for George Russell's New York, New York album in 1959, and wrote and directed the production "Evolution of the Blues Song" for the Modern Jazz Festival at Monterey in 1960. He continued performing as a solo vocalist after the trio disbanded in 1964, and moved to London in 1968. He performed in Europe and Asia for five years before returning to America. Hendricks was a jazz instructor throughout the '70s. He recorded for Arista, Enja and Pablo during the '70s. He's worked often with his wife Judith and children Michelle and Eric. Hendricks has also performed with Bobby McFerrin. During the '80s and '90s, he's recorded for Muse and Denon. The Denon session in 1990 matched him with the Count Basie orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, the Manhattan Transfer and Stanley Turrentine among others. His early recordings with Lambert And Ross, and some of his solo dates for Muse and Smash are being reissued. Read less
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