American jazz and blues singer Barbara Morrison died yesterday (16) at the age of 72. The 3-time Grammy nominee was widely highly regarded both for her own recordings and her work in the studio with Jimmy Smith, Johnny Otis, Keb’ Mo’, Kenny Burrell, Terry Gibbs, and some others, and on the street with the likes of Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Etta James, and the Rely Basie Orchestra.
As the Los Angeles Times documented, she was admitted to hospital before this month with cardiovascular condition, whereupon a GoFundMe campaign quickly elevated around $13,000. Among lots of affectionate posts on social media, drummer and composer Stix Hooper wrote: “I’m heartbroken proper now. I will have a lot more to say after I have had time to method. For now, RIP my soul sister.” The L.A. Office of Cultural Affairs noticed that Morrison “leaves a deep legacy of track, creativeness, & group supplying. May well her memory continue on to inspire us.”
Morrison was born near Detroit on March 10, 1949 on Following operating in Los Angeles with Otis and with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Morrison’s personal very first album Appreciate Is a 4-Letter Word was introduced in 1984. Other documents in her own name provided 1990’s Like ’n’ You, with David T. Walker and the Crusaders’ Joe Sample and Wilton Felder Blues for Ella: Are living, with the Thilo Berg Massive Band, in 1995, and her most latest set, 2021’s Heat & Cozy, that includes Stuart Elster.
As a contributor, she was on these albums as Jimmy Smith’s Prime Time, singing on “Farther On Up The Highway,” Swingin’ The Blues by Doc Severinsen & His Large Band, and Keb Mo’s 2001 launch Huge Large Grin.
She informed the L.A. Moments in 2011 of her work with Vinson and Otis: “Eddie used to explain to me, ‘Get your individual sound, girl!’. Johnny reported, ‘Why are you singin’ like Barbra Streisand? You have to have to study your own people’s new music!’”
Morrison performed at famed jazz festivals this sort of as Montreux, Monterey, Extended Seaside and North Sea, and sang at Carnegie Corridor. She ongoing to sing even immediately after dropping a leg to diabetes in 2011, and grew to become associate professor of worldwide jazz scientific tests at UCLA. In 2020, the college introduced the Barbara Morrison Scholarship for Jazz.