As a singer of Jazz, some would say that “scat” is the ultimate. Ella Fitzgerald, in the early years, found the band she sang with being downsized to be more affordable to clients. (If you don’t already know…the singer is most often first to go) She memorized some (all) of the horn parts and pulled double duty. The consonants used along with open and closed vowels sounded like the horns in the section she was singing. This later translated to a few songs and then to that spectacular performance where she forgot the lyric…and reverted to what she knew best…the music. The era was bebop…and scat was fresh. It only was part and partial to jazz because it was innovative compared to other singers’ delivery.
But I need not remind you that for ANY jazz singer…scat is not the jazz end all.
Jazz has always been a collaboration of heartbeat, a shout and a wail…humans, in a fleeting moment… attempting creation.
In the 21st century, it appears that the singer wants to mimic the instrument…and the lyric; the essence of the song…falls by the wayside.
Jazz sung and unsung delivers what all the music of the world deliver separately….hope, healing, joy, disdain, revenge, love, purity, flight and knowing.
Why the passion? Jazz is not for the faint of heart! Jazz is by and for people who are unafraid to explore possibilities.