All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Babs Gonzales

Babs Gonzales Babs Gonzales

Jazz singers used the scat technique, that means using the voice to create notes that are not words so the voice works like a musical instrument - and they also used slang in their music. Vocalists such as Slim Gaillard, and Babs Gonzalez were larger than life characters who used strange, funny new words in rhythmically complex phrases.

Born Lee Brown, 27 Oct. 1919, in Newark NJ; he and his brothers were all called Babs. He studied piano at a young age and learned to play drums. He sang in clubs; wore turban in Hollywood late '40s, calling himself Ram Singh; worked as chauffeur for Errol Flynn; called himself Ricardo Gonzales (Mexican rather than 'Negro') so as to get a room in a good hotel.

Babs Gonzales was a singer who did what he could to popularize bop, and was a pioneer in the scat vocalese style. He had stints with Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton's big bands, and then led his own group Three Bips & a Bop during 1946-1949. They recorded for Blue Note during 1947- 1949, including the earliest version of “Oop-Pop-A-Da,” later covered by Dizzy, and such songs as “Weird Lullaby,” “Real Crazy,” “Professor Bop,” and “Prelude to a Nightmare”; among his sidemen on these dates were Tadd Dameron, Tony Scott, Roy Haynes, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Julius Watkins, Sonny Rollins (making his recording debut), Art Pepper, Wynton Kelly, and even Don Redman.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Similar

Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto
Max Roach Max Roach
drums
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Louis Jordan Louis Jordan
saxophone, alto
Ike Quebec Ike Quebec
saxophone, tenor
Joe Williams Joe Williams
voice / vocals
Fats Navarro Fats Navarro
trumpet
Tadd Dameron Tadd Dameron
arranger
Slim Gaillard Slim Gaillard
voice / vocals
Al Hibbler Al Hibbler
voice / vocals
Andy Bey Andy Bey
piano
Jimmy Forrest Jimmy Forrest
saxophone, tenor

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.