Shot 3 Silenced the Singer - The Prequel
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Shot 3 Silenced the Singer - The Prequel

 Mark James Andrews
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 Mark James Andrews
Shot 3 Silenced the Singer - The Prequel
by Mark James Andrews  FollowFollow
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Mark James Andrews is finding optimism in uncertainty. He has work forthcoming in Chiron Review, Third Wednesday and a couple other hot spo...read morets.
Shot 3 Silenced the Singer - The Prequel
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Shot 3 Silenced the Singer:  The Prequel Eddie Jefferson was a Jazz Singer and an Original, the creator of a genre, a new musical form.
Jefferson was the Patriarch Lyric Composer of Jazz Vocalese, the art of injecting lyrics into the landmark recorded instrumental solos and melodies of the Jazz Canon.
Eddie put word to improvisation. He went beyond scat, though he could do that too. Jefferson’s lyrics to Moody’s Mood For Love have found popular expression in recordings by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Queen Latifah, and Amy Winehouse; sampled by Prince Paul on his Mood for Love and was performed by a contestant on American Idol.
Eddie Jefferson was murdered in Detroit 34 years ago on May 9, 1979, his life ending in an alley next to the world renowned Baker’s Keyboard Lounge.
          **
Eddie Jefferson made the music new cut the deals & counted the kitty booked the bus, the train hit the dead end side job day job ate dry bread.
Dancing through the world at war   hoofing with the Lanny Ross Show in 1946 Eddie made a public ripple into his Vocalese destiny singing in a 1949 recorded live session. Parker’s Mood flew with Eddie’s words & Lester Young’s solo on I Cover The Waterfront went with EJ’s text on a long lost 78 rpm released on Spotlite for early scenes and ears.
A new decade took him touring with Sarah Vaughn dancing for Sassy in 1950.
Eddie was the opener first out on the high wire turning the key for the marquee players.
Upon the Jefferson rock was built new music of the night hip rhymes on the solos of Hawk & Prez Diz & Bird Dexter and then James Moody by heart & straight from the heart. Moody’s Mood For Love became the EJ anthem of sex-love-magic EJ put the script to the Moody alto flower.
Alchemist, herbalist gris gris, ju ju cruets pouring water & wine solstice, equinox, powder horn, goat skin Saint Barman returns bottles Alpha & Omega to the top shelf & shakes a golden tumbler to Life.
Eddie was playing the Cotton Club in Cincinnati in 1952 when King Pleasure caught his act & tranced in the Vocalese def Jefferson lyric rhapsodies rapping over the solos of the Masters.
They met after-hours for a soul & skull session.
Eddie’s take on Moody’s Mood For Love captured the King stretched Pleasure’s wig into the griot galaxy of Coverland where he put his own firebrand on the EJ tune at the fabled Harlem Amateur Hour at the Apollo Theater and WON captured the NIGHT.

Smelling the roses the Pleasure Man went pro & took the tune into the studio for mass media & into the arms of the charts: a #5 R & B HIT.
Then in ’52 Annie Ross counted coup with her lyrics to Wardell Gray’s solo on Twisted & to Art Farmer’s big blow on Farmer’s Market just before her union with Dave Lambert & Jon Hendricks who would soon take their Vocalese to the Hall of Fame along with a big shot to the wallet.
Eddie Jefferson still glowed huge with his vocal kicks his humble praise offerings to satisfy his own mind Body & Soul while waiting in the shadows On The Road.
He did tell the critic Ira Gitler about King Pleasure:
“Yeah… he copped those lyrics but in a way it opened it up for me.” Shot 3 Silenced the Singer:  The Deed Eddie Jefferson is on the marquee in Detroit Baker’s Keyboard Lounge May 9, 1979 1:35 in the AM
When the music’s over, step out into quiet night 1, 2, 3, 4, exit Baker’s on Livernois Avenue into the Motor City street.
The Patriarch Lyric Composer of Jazz Vocalese Griot Poet who busted rhymes on the solos of  the Jazz Giants for the World Stage is now hustling back to his road home the Leland House Hotel with friends Cheryl Francis, Leonard Paul Harrell & Valerie Chalk.
Eddie Jefferson shut down the gig EARLY some snide audience heckling ripping the pick-up band & his hard post-bopping Alto player Richie Cole an attack from an Avant-Garde aficionado faction.
EJ had spidey sense & threw a safety net over Cole told him to lay out of his party stay put with his Flame actress Brenda Vaccarro who was hanging in D Town with The Alto Madness Man.
Eddie Jefferson hit the Street.
Cheryl Francis painted a gothic tableau: We heard a loud bang. I saw smoke. It was a green Lincoln. I saw fire shoot out of the passenger side Just a big burst of fire came out the window. I kept asking, Where is Eddie?
Leonard Paul Harrell followed Eddie out of the club 53, of Detroit, a dancer & old running buddy of EJ. He viewed the green & chrome Lincoln of Death pull around a Checker Cab & stop.
2 shots close together rang out I SAW THE BARREL OF THE SHOTGUN OUT THE WINDOW FIRING. THE 3rd SHOT HIT EDDIE. HE SAID ‘HUP,’ like that.
I guess the force of the shot turned him to the right & he started running. I looked up to the 4th shot coming to ME. I could only see the barrel of the gun & the person that was holding--- the shadow of the person holding the gun It was a green Lincoln Town Car Light green or dark green? Green like the green in a flower green like a leaf that green Green like the St. Patrick’s day hats? Not that bright. Not that bright. A green leaf. Like a green leaf? Green leaf. That’s all.
BANG BANG BANG BANG Paul hit the bricks yelled “Get down!”
The artist who put words to Eddie Harris’ Freedom Jazz Dance took flight made Last Dance steps 35 feet down an alley made THE BIG JUMP Vamping, Looping, Riffing a funky gurgling New Vocalese fresh for the yank by The Sandman with the Shepherd’s Crook.
I said, Shotgun 4 blasts from the DRIVER Lincoln Continental Late model / Leaf green.
I said, Shot 3 silenced the SINGER put him Out, baby Off the spinning Earth Hey! photo by Leni Sinclair  photo l.jpg

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