December 27, 1992 |
It's a fall Tuesday evening, and singer Ernie Andrews is on stage at the Nucleus Nuance, working his way through the splendid Percy Mayfield blues number "River's Invitation." On his last choruses, he departs from the tune's melody, improvising lyrics and rhythmic phrases as if he were an improviser playing a horn.
April 15, 1994 |
It comes as a surprise to learn that Ernie Andrews, the well-traveled singer with some 20 albums to his name, was once thrown out of his high-school vocal class. "The vocal coach kicked me out because I didn't sing the part she wanted," Andrews, 66, said by phone from his home in Los Angeles. "I was a baritone and she wanted me to sing something else. I told her, 'You can't make a pickax out of a shovel.'
October 18, 1986 |
"Blues for Central Avenue" (at the Music Hall in Beverly Hills through Tuesday) could easily be another generic documentary of the under-appreciated-musician school. But co-producer/director Lois Shelton's decision to focus on local jazz vocalist Ernie Andrews as a figurehead for the generation of artists who came of age here 40 years ago gives this film portrait an extra dimension and force.
July 24, 2000 |
Ernie Andrews comes from a generation of singers that had no difficulty reconciling the sometimes conflicting demands of creativity and communication. Like earlier great blues singers such as Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing, he blends a hard-swinging, outgoing vocal style with a quick-witted sense of humor. And, like ballad artists such as Billy Eckstine and Herb Jeffries, he does so with a rich timbre, a gift for drama and a singular capacity to stimulate an audience.
September 10, 2011 |
Sitting in the hall that she operates in Leimert Park on a recent afternoon, Barbara Morrison is uncharacteristically sedentary. She recently lost a leg to diabetes. While she speaks with customary grace and cheer, the jazz vocalist is in a period of adjustment. "The doctor said they needed to remove my leg to save my life," she relates matter-of-factly. "Thankfully, it doesn't affect my singing at all. " Morrison, who turns 62 on Saturday, is soon to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. Within the Los Angeles jazz community, Morrison is known as one of the busiest singers.
January 23, 1987 |
To all outward appearances, Ernie Andrews has had a successful career. Consider the credits: three major hits during his early years ("Soothe Me," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," "Make Me a Present of You"), 10 years of steady work with the Harry James band, standing ovations everywhere from the Monterey Jazz Festival to jazz parties and clubs, record sessions for at least 17 labels, and only last month a powerful impact during a two-week job in Japan along with pianist Jack Wilson.