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Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)

GUEST 22 Jul 20 - 03:10 PM
fat B****rd 22 Jul 20 - 03:13 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Jul 20 - 05:12 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 20 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Gerry 22 Jul 20 - 07:33 PM
rich-joy 22 Jul 20 - 08:21 PM
GUEST 23 Jul 20 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright 23 Jul 20 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 23 Jul 20 - 03:47 PM
Herga Kitty 23 Jul 20 - 06:18 PM
voyager 23 Jul 20 - 06:53 PM
Charlie Baum 24 Jul 20 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Gerry 25 Jul 20 - 12:33 AM
robomatic 31 Jul 20 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: Annie Ross
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 03:10 PM

I've just heard on Radio 4 that Annie Ross has died.
So soon after an interesting thread here about vocalese.
A great and innovative musician.


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Subject: RE: Annie Ross
From: fat B****rd
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 03:13 PM

I saw her perform at an open air Jazz concert in Birmingham in 1968 and I love her work with Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert.
I believe she was the sister of comedian Jimmy Logan
RIP Miss Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 03:18 PM

Here's the obituary from the New York Times


Annie Ross, Jazz Vocalist of ‘Twisted’ Renown, Dies at 89
She rose to fame with the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and, after personal struggles, found success as both an actress and a cabaret mainstay.


By Peter Keepnews
July 22, 2020

Annie Ross, who rose to fame as a jazz singer in the 1950s, struggled with personal problems in the ’60s, faded from the spotlight in the ’70s, re-emerged as a successful character actress in the ’80s and finished her career as a cabaret mainstay, died on Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Her death was confirmed by her former manager, Jim Coleman.

Ms. Ross acted on stage, screen and television and recorded several well-received albums under her own name. But she remained best known for her tenure, from 1958 to 1962, as the high voice of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, probably the most successful vocal group in the history of jazz.

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross were unusual in that they derived most of their repertoire not from Tin Pan Alley but from jazz itself. The group’s specialty was putting lyrics to previously recorded jazz instrumentals, a practice known as vocalese.

Ross first joined forces with Mr. Lambert and Mr. Hendricks for the album “Sing a Song of Basie,” recorded in 1957.

Jon Hendricks provided most of the lyrics, but Ms. Ross contributed some memorable vocalese numbers of her own, most notably “Twisted,” based on a blues improvisation recorded by the tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray in 1949, which she first recorded under her own name in 1952.

In witty and somewhat surreal words carefully matched to the jagged contours of the original recording, “Twisted,” which begins with the memorable lines “My analyst told me/That I was right out of my head,” tells the first-person story of a neurotic patient who is convinced that she is wiser than her psychiatrist (because, among other reasons, “Instead of one head/I got two”).

Despite its unorthodox subject matter, “Twisted” was one of the most popular numbers in the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross repertoire, and probably the most frequently covered: It has been recorded by Joni Mitchell, Bette Midler, Mark Murphy and others. In 1997, Ms. Ross was heard singing the song over the closing credits of Woody Allen’s film “Deconstructing Harry.”

The critic Leonard Feather called Ms. Ross “the most remarkable female vocalist in jazz since Ella Fitzgerald.” Few others went that far, but her voice, which could slip comfortably from a smoky contralto to a giddy soprano, proved ideal for handling parts that had originally been played by pianos or trumpets. It provided an attractive contrast to the gruff timbres of Dave Lambert and Mr. Hendricks, while her polished and glamorous stage presence was an important factor in the group’s appeal to audiences otherwise uninterested in jazz.

Annie Ross was born Annabelle Macauley Allan Short on July 25, 1930, in Mitcham, a town in Surrey, England, into a theatrical family. Her parents, Jack and Mary Short, were a Scottish vaudeville team; she claimed that her mother gave birth to her immediately after finishing a performance at a London music hall.

When she was 3 she was sent to Los Angeles to live with an aunt, the singer and actress Ella Logan. She made her movie debut in 1938 in an “Our Gang” comedy short and graduated to feature films in 1943, playing Judy Garland’s younger sister in “Presenting Lily Mars.”

She later moved frequently — first to New York, where she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; then to London, where she took the name Annie Ross and worked as a singer and actress; then to Paris, where she came under the spell of jazz, performing and recording with a number of expatriate American musicians. One of them, the drummer Kenny Clarke, became her companion and the father of her only child, Kenny Clarke Jr., who survives her. Survivors also include her companion, Dave Usher.

Ms. Ross recorded “Twisted” for the Prestige label during a brief return to New York in 1952. It became a minor hit, but she did not stick around long enough to savor its success, instead returning to Europe in 1953 to tour with Lionel Hampton’s band and then settling again in London.

She went back to New York to appear on Broadway in the British revue “Cranks,” and in 1957 she joined forces with Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Lambert to record the album “Sing a Song of Basie,” on which they sang Mr. Hendricks’s lyrics to some of the Count Basie big band’s most celebrated recordings, using multiple overdubs to make their three voices sound like a dozen. The album was a hit, and the three vocalists decided to make their partnership permanent.

For four years, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross were a worldwide sensation, and Ms. Ross became a model for a new breed of jazz singers who could sing rapid-fire, tongue-twisting words with precision and clarity. But despite the group’s success, she quit in 1962.

At the time, her departure was attributed to poor health. In later years she acknowledged that it had been fueled partly by friction with Mr. Hendricks, but mostly by her increasing dependence on heroin.

“Yeah, I had a hangup,” she told The New York Times in 1993. “A little bit here, a little bit there, and that was it. It was the culture of the time — the long hours, having to produce every night, needing stimulation. I guess you’re young and fearless and think you’re going to live forever.”

After Lambert, Hendricks and Ross finished a club date in London in May 1962, Ms. Ross stayed behind. “I kind of knew that if I came back to America I might die,” she said. The group continued with other female singers.

Dave Lambert died in a highway accident in 1966. Jon Hendricks died in 2017.

Gradually, Ms. Ross straightened out her life. She married an English actor, Sean Lynch, with whom she briefly ran a London nightclub, Annie’s Room. But by 1975 she had declared bankruptcy, lost her home and divorced Mr. Lynch, who died soon after in a car crash. The work had dried up as well.

“They say that each of these is a traumatic thing — well, boy, I had ’em all,” she observed in 1993.

With singing jobs scarce, Ms. Ross shifted her focus to acting. From the mid-’70s until she returned to the United States in 1985, she appeared frequently on the London stage, in plays like “A View From the Bridge” as well as in musical productions like “The Threepenny Opera” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” She also became a familiar face on British television. A role in the 1979 movie “Yanks” led to other film parts, including turns as a histrionic villain in “Superman III” (1983), an addled writing student in “Throw Momma From the Train” (1987) and an aging and temperamental jazz singer in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” (1993).

“Short Cuts” and its soundtrack album offered Ms. Ross wider exposure as a singer than she had enjoyed since her days with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. But her singing voice was now harsh and ravaged, in stark contrast to the limber instrument for which she had once been known.

No longer a virtuoso vocalist, she developed an act that relied primarily on her acting skills. While her contributions to jazz were not forgotten — the National Endowment for the Arts named her a Jazz Master in 2010 — she reinvented herself as an intimate and witty cabaret artist.

Reviewing her performance at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan in 2007, Stephen Holden of The Times praised her performance in general and her rendition of “I Got Rhythm” in particular. “If you’ve got as much rhythm in your body and music in your head as Ms. Ross does at 76,” he wrote, “who indeed could ask for anything more?”

Ms. Ross performed regularly at the Metropolitan Room until it closed in 2017. In 2014 she released the album “To Lady With Love,” a tribute to Billie Holiday.

Through all the ups and downs of Ms. Ross’s career, her sense of humor remained intact.

During one tour in the 1990s, a reporter asked her what “an old Annie Ross fan” could expect to hear at her show. Without missing a beat, she answered, “An old Annie Ross, I guess.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/22/arts/music/annie-ross-dies.html


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 05:12 PM

Another one-off. RIP Annie


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Subject: ADDPOP: Twisted (Annie Ross, et al.)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 06:54 PM

Annie Ross was probably best known for the song "Twisted," which she recorded in 1952. Here's a live performance with Annie singing "Twisted" and "Everyday I Have The Blues" in 1959. Is that Hugh Hefner in the audience?

TWISTED
(Annie Ross, et al.)

My analyst told me that I was right out of my head
The way he described it, he said I'd be better dead than live
I didn't listen to his jive
I knew all along he was all wrong
And I knew that he thought I was crazy but I'm not
Oh no!

My analyst told me that I was right out of my head
He said I'd need treatment but I'm not that easily led
He said I was the type that was most inclined
When out of his sight to be out of my mind
And he thought I was nuts, no more ifs or ands or buts
Oh no!

They say as a child I appeared a little bit wild
With all my crazy ideas
But I knew what was happenin', I knew I was a genius
What's so strange when you know that you're a wizard at three?
I knew that this was meant to be

Well I heard little children were supposed to sleep tight
That's why I drank a fifth of vodka one night
My parents got frantic, didn't know what to do
But I saw some crazy scenes before I came to
Now do you think I was crazy?
I may have been only three but I was swingin'

They all laughed at Al Graham Bell
They all laughed at Edison and also at Einstein
So why should I feel sorry if they just couldn't understand
The litany and the logic that went on in my head?
I had a brain, it was insane
Don't you let them laugh at me
When I refused to ride on all those double decker buses
All because there was no driver on the top

My analyst told me that I was right out of my head
The way he described it, he said I'd be better dead than live
I didn't listen to his jive
I knew all along he was all wrong
And I knew that he thought I was crazy but I'm not
Oh no!

My analyst told me that I was right out of my head
But I said "Dear doctor, I think that it's you instead
'Cause I have got a thing that's unique and new
It proves that I'll have the last laugh on you
'Cause instead of one head... I got two
And you know two heads are better than one"

Source: LyricFind (uncorrected)
Songwriters: Heidi Range / Brian Thomas Higgins / Timo Maas / Keisha Kerreece Fayeanne Buchanan / Mutya Buena



And here's an Annie Ross playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK48CL6-fkg&list=RDEMIEeu8sT7h5JmM619Uc3N7g&start_radio=1


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 07:33 PM

My claim to fame: I went to high school with the obituarist, Peter Keepnews.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: rich-joy
Date: 22 Jul 20 - 08:21 PM

Oh crikey, they're all gone now, LH&R - brilliant trio!

Years ago before my voice disappeared, I was lucky to sing in a small a cappella folk combo that included some LH&R classics, like Moanin / Centrepiece / and their special variant of Summertime :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNUEzD7aBQc

Wonderful music, wonderful times.
Vale, Annie. Thanks for your music and your wit.

R-J, Down Under


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 03:53 AM

A great singer. RIP
RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 11:14 AM

R.I.P. Truly a great singer with a beautiful voice.

I am blessed by the fact that my with Angie Wright often includes Twisted in her sets.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 03:47 PM

Yeah - sad news.

One of my earliest jazz memories is of hearing Lambert, Hendricks and Ross singing a setting of Nat Adderley's "Moanin'". At the time, I thought it was wonderful. Many years later, I came across it again - and was, at best, disappointed....

This is neither a complaint nor a piece of supercilious nonsense - we all need our musical gateway drugs.

Sounds like she had a tough life but survived it well!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 06:18 PM

I saw the thread title and was reminded of her in Charles Endell Esquire...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: voyager
Date: 23 Jul 20 - 06:53 PM

dear annie ross - thank you for your life in music. you are no longer Prisoner of Life - Robert Altman's Short Cuts (Annie Ross)

bon
voyager


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 24 Jul 20 - 06:48 AM

One correction to the lyrics posted above:
"The litany and the logic that went on in my head?"
should be
"The reasoning and the logic that went on in my head?"
--Charlie Baum, who has listened to at least 4 YouTube versions of Annie Ross singing this in the last couple of days (the original solo recording; two versions with Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross; and one later-in-life cabaret performance)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Singer/Actress Annie Ross (1930-2020)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 25 Jul 20 - 12:33 AM

Joni Mitchell sang it as "The idiomatic logic that went on in my head?" She also turned "Al Graham Bell" into "angry young men". But I'm ready to forgive her a mondegreen or two.


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Subject: Obit: Annie Ross 1930-2020 Singer of 'Twisted'
From: robomatic
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:04 PM

Annie Ross came to America from Britain, and was performing from an age in the single digits. I know her from the song "Twisted" which I didn't realize was her song. And I didn't realize she was Scottish.

Just heard her interview on Fresh Air.


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