Cultural Percussionist

Eddie Jefferson Day

Eddie Jefferson (August 3, 1918 – May 9, 1979) was a jazz vocalist and lyricist. He is credited as an innovator of vocalese, a musical style in which lyrics are set to an instrumental composition or solo. Jefferson himself claims that his main influence was Leo Watson. Perhaps his best-known song is “Moody’s Mood for Love“, though it was first recorded by King Pleasure, who cited Jefferson as an influence. Jefferson’s songs “Parker’s Mood” and “Filthy McNasty” were also hits.

Jefferson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of his most notable recordings, “So What“, combined the lyrics of artist Christopher Acemandese Hall with the music of Miles Davis to highlight his skills, and enabled him to turn a phrase, into his style he calls jazz vocalese.

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