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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The combination of New York producer (and Sue Records label owner) Juggy Murray and vocalist Justine 'Baby' Washington was one of pure musical chemistry; Juggy placed Baby's husky, intense vocals inside productions that showcased the strength of her voice in the perfect setting.

'Doodlin' is a track that was written by the great jazz pianist Horace Silver, and while the original recording from 1954 (Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers) is a relatively straight (but swingin') hard bop performance, this reworking takes on the Latin style rhythms that Horace Silver was also exploring in his music during the 1960's to brilliant effect. While the original is an instrumental, lyrics are added here; strangely, though, the lyricist isn't credited (it may very well have been Baby herself). The end result is a unique vocal melody with jazzy phrasing and a phenomenal performance from everyone on the track.

Possessing an incredible, earth voice, Justine's "Baby" Washington's professional music career began in 1956 when she was all of 16 years old as a member of New York City group The Hearts. By 1959, she was recording as a solo artist.

Justine continues to sing to this day, performing occasionally on the east coast. Sadly, she was working on tracks with producer Juggy Murray (of Sue Records fame) who was quoted as saying he would "rather record Baby Washington than eat" when Juggy died in 2005.
from 1963...



Brian Phillips said...

The lyrics were written by Jon Hendricks, of (Dave) Lambert, Hendricks and (Annie) Ross. The lyrics were added after the fact. They, like Eddie Jefferson and King Pleasure were practitioners of "Vocalese", which put words to famous Jazz solos.

phipps11 said...

Dusty Springfield did a nice version too.