Rushing was known as “Mr. Five by Five” and was the subject of an eponymous 1942 popular song that was a hit for Harry James and others — the lyrics describing Rushing’s rotund build: “he’s five feet tall and he’s five feet wide”.
He joined Walter Page’s Blue Devils in 1927, then joined Bennie Moten’s band in 1929. He stayed with the successor Count Basie band when Moten died in 1935.
Rushing was a powerful singer who had a range from baritone to tenor. He could project his voice so that it soared over the horn and reed sections in a big-band setting. Basie claimed that Rushing “never had an equal” as a blues vocalist.
George Frazier, author of Harvard Blues, called Rushing’s distinctive voice “a magnificent gargle”. His best known recordings are probably “Going to Chicago” with Basie, and “Harvard Blues”, with a famous saxophone solo by Don Byas.
Rushing was born into a family with musical talent and accomplishments. His father, Andrew Rushing, was a trumpeter and his mother, Cora, and brother were singers. Rushing toured the Mid-West and California as an itinerant blues singer in 1923 and 1924 before moving to Los Angeles, California, where he sang with Jelly Roll Morton.
Rushing sang with Billy King before moving on to Page’s Blue Devils in 1927. He, along with other members of the Blue Devils, defected to the Bennie Moten band in 1929.
Moten died in 1935, and Rushing joined Count Basie for what would be a 13-year tenure. Due to his tutelage under his mentor Moten, Rushing was a proponent of the Kansas City jump blues tradition, best evinced by his performances of “Sent For You Yesterday” and “Boogie Woogie” for the Count Basie Orchestra. After leaving Basie, his recording career soared, as a solo artist and a singer with other bands.
When the Basie band broke up in 1950 he briefly retired, then formed his own group. He also made a guest appearance with Duke Ellington for the 1959 album Jazz Party.In 1960, he recorded an album with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, known for their cerebral cool jazz sound, but the album was nonetheless described by critic Scott Yanow as “a surprising success.”
Rushing appeared in the 1957 television special Sound Of Jazz, singing one of his signature songs “I Left My Baby” backed by many of his former Basie band compatriots.
His 1970 album, The You And Me That Used To Be, was named Jazz Album of the Year by DownBeat Magazine in 1971.
After he became ill with leukemia in 1971, Rushing’s performing career ended. He died on June 8, 1972, in New York, and was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens, in Queens, New York.
1955: Jimmy Rushing Sings the Blues
1955: Listen to the Blues
1956: Cat Meets Chick
1957: The Jazz Odyssey of James Rushing Esq.
1958: Little Jimmy Rushing and the Big Brass
1958: If This Ain’t the Blues
1960: Brubeck and Rushing - The Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Jimmy Rushing
1960: Rushing Lullabies (with Ray Bryant, Sir Charles Thompson, Buddy Tate, Skeeter Best, Gene Ramey and Jo Jones)
1960: Jimmy Rushing and the Smith Girls
1963: Five Feet of Soul (with Al Cohn, Snooky Young and Zoot Sims)
1964: Two Shades of Blue
1967: Every Day I Have the Blues (with Clark Terry, Dickie Wells, Buddy Tate)
1967: Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You
1967: Who Was It Sang That Song? (with Buck Clayton, Sir Charles Thompson)
1967: Blues and Things
1968: Livin’ the Blues
1986: Sent for You Yesterday
1971: The You and Me That Used to Be
1971: Goin’ to Chicago (with Lawrence Brown, Vic Dickenson, Walter Page, Freddie Green)
Editado por larsan44 em Mai 8 2012, 0h53
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