Adding a vocal choir behind a jazz instrumentalist probably dates back to May 25, 1953, when Charlie Parker was teamed with the Dave Lambert Singers for a Clef recording session (see my two-part post here). A failed experiment (there were simply too many voices), the concept began to catch on again in the late 1950s and beyond as influences from the church and civil rights movement merged with jazz and soul. By then, the choir sound was less vocalese and more spiritual in nature.
Here are six albums by jazz instrumentalists with a soulful vocal choir lending support:
- Donald Byrd—A New Perspective (1963)
- Mary Lou Williams—Presents Black Christ of the Andes (1963)
- Donald Byrd—I'm Trying to Get Home (1964)
- Stan Getz—Voices (1966)
- Mary Lou Williams—Mary Lou's Mass (1970)
- Horace Silver—Silver 'n' Voices (1976)