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March 11, 2004

Seattle Times

Happy birthday, Count Basie. The bandleader and jazz legend William "Count" Basie would have been 100 this year. More than 50 years since his music peaked in popularity, young people are still singing and playing numbers made legendary by his orchestra: "One O'Clock Jump," "Li'l Darlin,' "Shiny Stockings," "April in Paris" and many others.

Part of that is thanks to musicians like Jon Hendricks of the jazz trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. As lyricist with the group, Hendricks penned lyrics to jazz instrumentals by Basie and Duke Ellington, among others. And though his trio is no longer recording, for the past four decades Hendricks has become one of the nation's best-loved jazz artists and educators. The Manhattan Transfer's 1985 Grammy Award-winning album "Vocalese" contained 11 songs with Hendricks lyrics. Hendricks is coming to the Northwest this week to perform as part of the 29th annual Lynnwood Jazz Festival.

It's truly legend meets legend when Hendricks, who has influenced such artists as Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin and the Manhattan Transfer, performs the music of Count Basie, a swing-era giant with more than 40 years as bandleader, pianist and composer. "He left a permanent imprint on the art form," festival adviser Kirk Marcy said of Basie. Marcy, director of choral activities at Edmonds Community College, has spent months rehearsing Soundsation as a "voice-stra," a vocal version of the Count Basie Orchestra. Choir members sing trumpet, saxophone and trombone parts in special arrangements. More

Posted by acapnews at March 11, 2004 8:44 AM

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