Annie Ross

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Annie Ross (* 25. July 1930 in Mitcham , England as Annabelle Lynch Short ; † 21st July 2020 in New York City ) was an American jazz singer and actress of British origin. In addition to her solo career, she was a member of the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross from 1957 to 1962 .

Live and act

Her parents were in show business in England, and they included Annie Ross in their act when she was two. At the age of three, she moved with her mother to live with her aunt, Broadway actress Ella Logan, in the United States, where she grew up in Los Angeles . At the age of seven, she sang Loch Lomond in the Little Strolche film Our Gang of Follies of 1938 . In 1943 she starred as Judy Garland's sister in the comedy film Presenting Lily Mars . In 1947 she returned to Great Britain, where she performed with her parents in Scotland .

In 1948 she made her debut as a singer at the Orchard Room nightclub in London . Hugh Martin took her to Paris , where she stayed and made her first recording, Le Vent Vert with James Moody and the pianist Jacques Diéval . She then moved to New York, where she made her first recordings for Dizzy Gillespie's DeeGee label in 1952 , together with Blossom Dearie , Milt Jackson , Kenny Clarke and Percy Heath . In 1952 her vocal version of Wardell Gray's saxophone solo on Twisted (recorded on Prestige with George Wallington and Art Blakey ), the lyrics of which she had written herself, was a great success (which Joni Mitchell and Bette Midler later attempted to follow up with reinterpretations of the piece). In 1953 she went on a European tour with Lionel Hampton , which was so catastrophic that she got out with other musicians on the way. She recorded with Lars Gullin in Stockholm , then worked in England with Jack Parnell , Ronnie Scott and Tony Crombie before moving to New York. In the West End of London she had success with the revue Cranks , and she also starred in its Broadway production in New York.

From 1957 until she retired due to illness in 1962, she formed a successful vocal trio with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks , which particularly cultivated the vocalizing technique known as Twisted , i.e. performing instrumental improvisations with text in a scat-like manner . The debut album was released in 1957, and in the same year she received a solo contract with World Pacific Records , from which the album Annie Ross Sings a Song of Mulligan (1958 with Gerry Mulligan , Chet Baker , Art Farmer ) emerged. During her time in the vocal trio, the albums Gipsy (1959, with Buddy Bregman and his band) and A Gasser followed! (1959, in an all-star cast with Zoot Sims ).

After that, Ross went back to London, where she worked as an actress and singer. In 1965 she became a partner in a jazz club Annie's Room in London , in which she performed herself. She worked with Hendricks again in the late 1960s and performed with him and Georgie Fame , accompanied by Count Basie , at the JazzFest Berlin in 1968 . There have also been productions with Cleo Laine / John Dankworth , with Dave MacRae (You and My Baby) and with Hoagy Carmichael / Georgie Fame (In Hoagland 1981) . In 1985 she moved back to the USA.

There she resumed her career as a film actress and starred in Superman III (1983), Throw Mama Off the Train! (1987), Pump Up the Volume (1990) and - with some autobiographical features - in Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), where she also contributed to the soundtrack and ballads by U2 , Elvis Costello and Dr. John interpreted. From the mid-1990s she actively pursued her career as a singer again; The album Music Is Forever was released in 1996 , the CD Let Me Sing followed in 2005. At the JazzAscona Festival 2006, Ross performed with Warren Vaché's sextet . In 2014 she released an homage to Billie Holiday on Red Anchor Records with the album To Lady with Love (with guitarists Bucky and John Pizzarelli ).

Ross, who took American citizenship in 2001, lived in Manhattan until her death a few days before her 90th birthday in July 2020 , where she performed weekly in the Metropolitan Room until 2017 . In 2010 she received the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship .

Discographic notes

  • Lambert, Hendricks & Ross: Twisted: The Best of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (Rhino, rec. 1957–61)
  • Sings a Song with Mulligan! (EMI, 1958)
  • Sings a Handful of Songs (Fresh Sound, 1963)
  • Music is Forever (DRG, 1996)
  • Let Me Sing (Consolidated Artists, 2005)


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Annie Ross, Mid-Century Jazz Icon, Dead At 89 ,, July 22, 2020, accessed July 22, 2020
  2. Ken Bloom The American Songbook , New York 2005, p. 87
  3. Live in London ; Recorded in 1965 with the Peter King quartet on CD 2003
  4. Review by Christopher Loudon , JazzTimes from January 11, 2015, accessed January 24, 2015. The album comes with a DVD with 14 minutes of interviews with the musicians.
  5. Annie Ross, mainstay of 'the greatest jazz vocal group that ever was,' dies at 89th Washington Post, July 21, 2020, accessed July 22, 2020 .