Joni Mitchell

Jon Hendricks, the 'James Joyce of jazz,' dies at 96

Jon Hendricks, the 'James Joyce of jazz,' dies at 96

Jon Hendricks, the pioneering jazz singer and lyricist with the vocal ensemble Lambert, Hendricks & Ross who helped create an inventive jazz vocal technique called “vocalese,” has died.

Hendricks died Wednesday in New York City, his daughter, Aria Hendricks, said. He was 96.

When Hendricks arrived on the jazz scene in the ’50s, his mastery of “vocalese” — an expansion of scat singing — had a powerful influence on the musical tenor of post-World War II bebop. The technique combined existing — usually recorded — instrumental jazz solos and newly written lyrics and often replaced instruments with vocalists. In Hendricks’ hands, the result was seen by his fans as rhythmic...

48°