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Babs Gonzales - We Ain't Got Integration and Lonely One (45) 1961

On: Friday, March 8, 2013

Babs Gonzales
Lee Brown
aka Ram Singh
aka Ricardo Gonzales
Oct 27 1919 – Jan 23 1980 age 60
Official Site

Of particular note are Babs’s early recordings, where he focused the most on his singing. (As ‘50s wore on, his releases tended to feature his distinct spoken-word musings – a separate, better-known chapter of his story.) Babs Gonzales was not only one of the first jazz singers to effectively embrace bop, but he was a pioneer of vocalese, a post-War extension of scat improvisation that used words, rather than nonsense syllables, sung as bop jazz solos, a technique later made more famous by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
His most important 78 sides were recorded between the mid-‘40s and the early ‘50s, during which time he sang with top-tier beboppers – including James Moody’s orchestra and Babs’s own group, Three Bips & a Bop – and released some of his best-known compositions, including “Oop-Pa-A-Da,” recorded by Dizzy Gillespie in 1947.
While prolific – a dizzying number of records were made for major labels and tiny independents alike – there is some truth to the consensus that his singing was limited, and that there was a whiff of novelty hanging about his recordings. But Gonzales also wrote some very serious, very dark songs like “Weird Lullaby,” “Prelude to a Nightmare” and “Lullaby of the Doomed,” all of which received terrific instrumental treatment in the hands of jazz heavyweights like Wynton Kelly, Art Pepper and Bennie Green.
Atmospheric and stunningly beautiful, “Lonely One” belongs among those as well. Recorded with an unknown trio for the great Prestige Records in a comparatively late 1961, Babs brings such harrowing, effective feeling that one wishes for more like this, but, sadly, this would be among of his last “serious” recordings as a jazz singer. ~Excerpt OfficeNap

A We Ain't Got Integration 2:41
B Lonely One 2:20

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