Jackie Paris (
September 20, 1926– June 17, 2004) was an American jazz singerand guitarist.
He was born Carlo Jackie Paris in
Nutley, New Jerseyto his father Carlo, mother Rose, and brother Gene. A bopper, Paris even toured with Charlie Parker. He also tap danced since he was young and into his years at the Army, entertaining his fellow men. He is best known for his recordings of "Skylark" and "Round Midnight" in the late 1940s. Paris performed and/or recorded with Terry Gibbs, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd, Gigi Gryce, Charles Mingus, and others. He won many jazz polls and awards, including those of " Downbeat", "Playboy", "Swing Journal", and "Metronome".
A documentary, [http://www.hangoverlounge.com/"Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris"] , has been made.
• Jackie was born in Nutley, New Jersey to an Italian-Americanfamily; his uncle Chick had been a guitarist with
Paul Whiteman'sfamous Orchestra.
• Jackie was a very popular child entertainer in vaudeville, a pint-sized song and dance man, who shared the stage with—and wasencouraged by—such legendary black headliners as
Bill "Bojangles" Robinsonand The Mills Brothers.
• After serving in the army during WWII, Jackie, inspired by his friend
Nat King Cole, put together a trio featuring himself on guitar andvocals. "The Jackie Paris Trio" were a smash hit at the Onyx Club onNew York's 52nd Street. They played at the club for anunprecedented 26 weeks, perhaps the longest-running residencyin the history of Swing Street.
• The first song Jackie ever recorded was "Skylark", on one of twosessions made by his trio, for MGM Records in 1947. Composer
Hoagy Carmichaelonce said of Jackie's rendition that "the kid singsthe hell out of it."
• In 1949, Jackie was the first white vocalist to tour with the famous
Lionel HamptonOrchestra. He remembered an occasion when heactually did 78 consecutive one nighters with the band. When hefinally got off the road, he received an offer to join Duke Ellington'sOrchestra, but at that time was too exhausted to take it. For yearsafter, Ellington's son Mercer would tell him, "You're the only guythat ever turned down my old man."
• Jackie was the first singer to record
Thelonious Monk's future jazzanthem "Round Midnight", which was produced by the famouscritic Leonard Featherand featured a young Dick Hymanon piano.
• Jackie was the only vocalist, black or white, male or female, totour as a regular member of the
Charlie ParkerQuintet.Unfortunately, no recordings exist of the Parker–Paris combination(although the "Round Midnight" session mentioned above featuresParker's bassist and drummer, Tommy Potterand Roy Haynes),but there is a classic photograph of the two working together.
• In 1953, Jackie was named Best New Male Vocalist of the Year inthe first ever
DownbeatCritics Poll. The winning female vocalist was Ella Fitzgerald, who repeatedly named Jackie as one of herfavorites.
Charlie Mingusnamed Jackie as his favorite singer, and used himon several recording sessions over a period of many decades,including 1952's "Paris In Blue" (written expressly for Jackie) and theMingus classic "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," on the album"Changes Two" in 1974. Paris also worked extensively with thefamous bassist-composer-bandleader in clubs.
• Likewise, Jackie was the only singer ever endorsed by thelegendary comic and 20th Century iconoclast
Lenny Bruce. Brucenot only split the bill with Jackie on many occasions, he shoutedJackie's praises to all who would listen, saying "I dig his talent. Theaudience loves him and he gets laughs. He is toooo muccchhh!"
• Other major musicians with whom Jackie recorded include
Hank Jones, Charlie Shavers, Joe Wilder, Wynton Kelly, Eddie Costa, Coleman Hawkins, Bobby Scott, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, Donald Byrd, Gigi Gryce, Ralph Burns, Tony Scott, Neal Hefti, Terry Gibbs, Johnny Mandel, Oscar Pettiford, and many others.
• Some of his best-known albums include "Songs By Jackie Paris"(EmArcy), "Jackie Paris Sings the Lyrics of
Ira Gershwin" (Time), "TheSong Is Paris" (Impulse!), and many others.
• Jackie recorded consistently through the years, from the1940's up to and beyond the millennium.
• In 2001, Jackie played to a standing room crowd—and to astanding ovation—at New York's
Birdland, in Times Square. He wasvirtually the only performer to have appeared at every incarnation ofthe famed jazz night spot, from the legendary Birdland of the '50sup to the present.
Paris died in
New York City.
The Intimate Jackie Paris (Hudson) 2001, Jackie Paris (Audiophile) 1994, Love Songs (EmArcy - Japan) 1990, Lucky To Be Me (EmArcy - Japan) 1989, Nobody Else But Me (Audiophile) 1988, Changes Two (Atlantic) 1975, The Song Is Paris (Impulse!) 1962, Jackie Paris Sings the Lyrics of Ira Gershwin (Time) 1960, The Jackie Paris Sound (Atlantic) 1957, Songs By Jackie Paris (EmArcy) 1956
(selected)Gold Disc Award for Lucky To Be Me CD 1989Swing Journal Magazine
Best Male VocalistPlayboy Musicians & Critics Poll1957-1961
New Star Male Vocalist1953 Downbeat Critics Poll
JVC Town Hall 1987 w/ Hank Jones, piano
Newport July 6, 1957 w/ Joe Masters, piano; Joe Benjamin, bass; Jo Jones, drums
(selected)The Mike Douglas Show 1970'sThe Tonight Show 1960'sThe Steve Allen Show 1950's
(selected)Baby Grand (NY)Basin Street (NY)Birdland (NY)Cafe Bohemia (NY)Cage Society (NY)Composer (NY)DownBeat (NY)Eddie Condon's (NY)Famous Door (NY)Fat Tuesdays (NY)Half Note (NY)Maisonette (NY)Onyx (NY)Royal Roost (NY)Sweet Basil (NY)Tavern on the Green (NY)Three Deuces (NY)Village Vanguard (NY)Alfonse (LA)Carmelo's (LA)Donte's (LA)Jazz Bakery (LA)Lighthouse (LA)Pasquale's (LA)Stables (Bos)Scullers (Bos)Cloisters (Chi)Bengazi (DC)Trumpets (NJ)Picasso (Phili)Jazz Workshop (SF)
(selected)Carnegie Hall (NY)Town Hall (NY)Civic Auditorium (Balt)Royal Theater (Balt)Boston Symphony Hall (Bos)Civic Opera House (Chi)Regal Theater (Chi)Joe Louis Auditorium (Detr)Paridise Theater (Detr)Bushnell Theater (Hart)
* [http://www.jackieparis.com/ Official Website]
* [http://www.hangoverlounge.com/ Documentary Website]
* [http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Jackie%20Paris:1927007049:page=biography;_ylt=AksDltCAMQbSAzpA26qAxrtUvQcF;_ylu=X3oDMTBudjI1N2xwBF9zAzg0MzkzMzAwBHNlYwNhcnRmZWF0 Jackie Paris: Biography]
* [http://www.musicweb-international.com/encyclopaedia/p/P14.HTM PARIS, Jackie]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E4D91439F93AA25755C0A9629C8B63 Obituary (New York Times)]
* [http://www.jackieparis.com/about.htm About Jackie Paris]
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