Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

HENDRICKS, Jon

(b 16 September 1921, Newark OH) Singer, songwriter. One of 17 children, he sang on radio after the family moved to Toledo '32, sometimes accompanied by Art Tatum. He toured Europe, led his own vocal quartet, and went to NYC '52; wrote a vocal version of 'Four Brothers' (see Woody Herman) and other songs, and lyrics for the George Russell album New York, New York '59 ('The city so nice/They had to name it twice'). Then he became co-founder of vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross '57-64 with Annie Ross and Dave Lambert. David Alden Lambert (b 19 June 1917, Boston MA; d 3 October 1966, Westport CN) was an organizer and music director of vocal groups; he collaborated on a new version of 'Four Brothers'; they recruited Annie Ross (see her entry), replaced by Yolande Bavan (b 1 June 1942, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka]). Hendricks wrote lyrics to jazz arrangements, for solos as well as ensemble passages, the trio's multi-track recording sounding like a whole band. Their first album on Imperial used Count Basie tunes, his rhythm section and Nat Pierce on piano; Roulette LP with Basie Sing Along With Basie '58 included Joe Williams; they also recorded for United Artists, World Pacific and Columbia, winning several Grammys, then with Bavan on RCA. (The Columbia albums The Hottest New Group In Jazz, Lambert, Hendricks And Ross Sing Ellington and High Flying With The Ike Isaacs Trio all included Isaacs on bass and Gildo Mahones on piano, and were all reissued on two-CD compilation The Hottest New Group In Jazz '96 on Columbia with previously unissued tracks.)

Hendricks gave up the trio when Lambert left '64, then in demand as lyricist and performer for many years, his wit and swing unique in vocal jazz. Hendricks also wrote musical presentation Evolution Of The Blues, given at the Monterey Jazz Festival '60 (Columbia LP; revived in San Francisco '75); lived in London late '60s; was a jazz critic at the San Francisco Chronicle '73-4; occasionally revived the trio format with wife Judith and daughter Michelle. He had his own LP on World Pacific in '50s, and an album on Prestige with King Pleasure (who deserves some credit for starting the whole thing with his version of James Moody's version of 'I'm In The Mood For Love'). Other Hendricks albums included Fast Livin' Blues on Columbia, Salute To João Gilberto on Reprise, In Person At The Trident on Smash, Blues For Pablo on Arista, Cloudburst '72 on Enja, Love '81-2 on Muse. Boppin' At The Blue Note on Telarc had him with his whole family, sidemen incluing Benny Golson and Wynton Marsalis, who made his debut as a vocalist because Clark Terry couldn't make it, and holds his own: made at a Christmas gig '93 and described by Scott Yanow in Cadence as one of the best vocal albums of the year.