Jeanne Lee & son Ruomi Hampel, late '7O's, Germany

(1/29/39 ~ 1O/25/OO)

When I was a New York City youngster just discovering this music, the great & beautiful Jeanne Lee did it all for me. First, she'd open me up to sonic possibilities I'd never heard in human voice before, her courage to go for them creating a hunger in me to seek out other such fearless musical explorers. Next time she'd be singing a straight~up ballad, true note for true note & on~melody, & making me ache to hear each subsequent word & note before she delivered them, even though I already knew what they'd be. Now she'd astonish me by jamming on a children's jump~rope rhyme, innocent & free, & clear as truth, & deeply grooved as an African dance. Or another time, a majestic operatic piece, all European dignity & cathedral cadences. Then she'd be getting DOWN on a nasty blues…. There was simply nothing Jeanne Lee couldn't do with her beautiful voice & the inspiration & intelligence & vision & knowledge & power & courage she had. & then, just to complete the picture, she was physically beautiful too, & gracious, warm, & welcoming to a shy youngster stricken dumb by worship. & she wrote her own music & lyrics, sometimes had her own bands, earned a master's degree in musicology, taught in conservatories, raised her own children, traveled the world ~ what a woman!! ~ & still would be so generous as to stand before me holding one of her perfect notes, time stilled, all my fears & struggles forgotten, long enough to heal me up and send me, all new & ready for more life, on my way. Jeanne Lee… She'll always be doing all that, for me, for you, for us all. Let us give thanks.

In love & music,
© Margaret Davis


To honor Jeanne Lee and be in touch with her family, please contact her daughter Cavana Lee-Hampel, Weichselstrasse 13, 12O45 Berlin, Germany, phone +49 3O 4472 837O, Email

(Earthform Records #814, '74)


                         The miracle is...         that the layers         continue
                     to be stripped away       each time uncov'ring
                  a center     more brilliant        and revealing
                    than the one        before.

                             Amazing...           that this should be the way
                  our love     our knowledge                   and our lives
                         leaving us constantly           renewed.

                   Knowing you exist        anywhere in this universe
                      makes my world          that much larger
                           and that much more       filled
                             with light.



                                  no words,
                                                only a feeling...
                                  no questions only
                                                           a light
                                  no sequence
                                                           only a
                                           no journey/ only
                                   a dance --

(Jeanne Lee's first husband, & the father of their child Naima Hazelton),
also used as lyrics on the album "Conspiracy":


                take a breath
                                let it go
                   take a breath
                               let it go
              don' get scared
         that sound you heard
        ain't nuthin'
                          but nature
                  an' her children



If you are connected with a radio station
or are otherwise a  member of the press,
or if you're a fan who'd like to find some of her music, 
you may find a Jeanne Lee discography helpful. 
No doubt there are mistakes & omissions,  for which I apologize.
Press people should feel free to use this, but please show full credits, as follows:


Margaret Davis, , ,
(212) 841~O899; & 
George Scala,, , (7O4) 377~1693; 
with additional input from Rob Leurentop, , , & 
Steve Bernbach, , 
Gary Bartz, Jeanne Lee, Jorgé Pardo + Repertory Quartet:  "Music for Ebbe
     Traberg~Live in San Sebastian" (Producciones El Delirio, Spain, '97)
Ran Blake: "You Stepped Out of a Cloud" (Owl #O55 CD, ‘89)
Carla Bley: "Escalator Over the Hill" (JCOA/ ECM #83931O2, ‘7O) *
Anthony Braxton: "Town Hall 1972" (Trio 3OO8/O, ‘72)
Marion Brown: "In Sommerhausen" (Calig #1O6O5, ‘69)
Marion Brown:  "Afternoon of a Georgia Faun" (ECM #1OO4, 7O)
Jane Bunnett: "The Water Is Wide" (Evidence #22O91, ‘93)
Compost: "Life Is Round" (CBS #S65326, ‘73)
Marilyn Crispell: "Live in San Francisco" (Music & Arts #633, ‘89)
Andrew Cyrille: "Celebration" (IPS #ST~OO2, ‘75)
Andrew Cyrille:  "Nuba" (Black Saint BSR #OO3O, ‘79)
**Gunter Hampel: "Studio Reihe neuer Musik," "The 4 Elements"
              (Wergo #ST83OO1, ‘68)
     "    "The 8th July 1969" (Birth #OO1, ‘69)
     "    "Ballet-Symphony"(Birth #OO3, ‘7O)
     "    "People Symphony" Birth #OO5, ‘7O)
     "    "Out of New York" (MPS/ BASF #21.2O9OO~8ST, ‘71)
     "    "Spirits"(Birth #OO7, ‘71)
     "    "Family" (Birth #OO8, ‘72)
     "    "Angel" (Birth #OO9, ‘72)
     "    "Waltz for 3 Universes in a Corridor" (Birth #OO1O, ‘72)
     "    "Broadway" (Birth #OO11, ‘72)
     "    "I Love Being With You" (Birth #OO12, ‘72)
     "    "Unity Dance / Unity Concert" (Birth #OO13, ‘73)
     "    "Out from Under" (Birth #OO16, ‘74)
     "    "Journey to the Song Within" (Birth #OO17, ‘74)
     "    "Celebration" (Birth #OO21 & 22, double LP, ‘74)
     "    "Cosmic Dancer" (Birth #OO24, ‘75)
     "    "Enfant Terrible" (Birth #OO25, ‘75)
     "    "Transformation" (Birth #OO26, ‘76)
     "    "That Came Down on Me" (Birth #OO27, ‘78)
     "    "All Is Real" (Birth #OO28, ‘78)
     "    "Freedom of the Universe" (Birth #OO3O, '78, '79)
***     "All the Things You Could Be If Charles Mingus
               Was Your Daddy" (Birth #OO31, ‘8O)
     "    "A Place to Be With Us" (Birth #OO32, ‘81)
     "    "Life On This Planet" (Birth #OO33, ‘81)
     "    "Cavana" (Birth #OO34, ‘81)
     "    "Generator" (Birth #OO35, ‘81)
     "    "Companion" (Birth #OO36, ‘82)
     "    "Jubilation" (Birth #OO38, ‘83)
     "    "Fresh Heat ~ Live at Sweet Basil" (Birth #OO39, ‘83)
     "    "Celestial Glory" (Birth #OO4O), ‘91)
   Gunter Hampel & Jeanne Lee:  "Oasis" (Horo #HDP33 / 34, '78)
   Gunter Hampel & Jeanne Lee:  "Duo" (Birth #OO46, '96)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk:  "Prepare Thyself to Deal with a Miracle"
     (Atlantic #SD164O, ‘73)
Peter Kowald: "Duos America" (FMP #127O, ‘86~’9O)
Peter Kowald:  "Duos: Europa America Japan" (FMP#CD21, 
Jeanne Lee: "Conspiracy" (Earthform Records #814, ‘74)
Jeanne Lee:  "Natural Affinities" (92, Owl #O7OCD 38OO7O2)
Jeanne Lee & Ran Blake:  "The Newest Sound Around"
     (RCA / Victor #LSP~25OO, ‘61, rereleased on Bluebird, '88
     as "The Legendary Duets")
***Jeanne Lee & David Eyges:  "Here and Now" 
    (Word of Mouth #1OO7~2, '93)
Jeanne Lee & Mal Waldron:  "After Hours" (Owl #O77, France, '94)
***Jeanne Lee, Mal Waldron, Toru Tenda:  "Travelin' in Soul Time"
     (Haast Records, Holland, #97O1BVHAAST, ‘95)
Marcello Melis: "Free to Dance" (Black Saint #OO23, ‘76)
Grachan Moncur, III / Jazz Composers’ Orchestra:
    "Echoes of Prayer" (JCOA #1OO9, ‘74)
Bob Moses: "Bittersweet in the Ozone" (Mozown #MZOO1, ‘75)
Bob Moses:  "When Elephants Dream of Music" 
    (Gramavision #82O3, '82)
Bob Moses:  "Visit with the Great Spirit" (Gramavision #GR83O7, ‘83)
Bob Moses:  "Wheels of Colored Light" (Open Minds #OM2412~2, ‘92)
Sunny Murray: "Hommage to Africa" (BYG / Actuel #529.3O3, ‘69)
Orchestre National de Jazz conducted by Didier Levallet:  "Deep Feelings"
     (Evidence Records, France, #3 42257O O2O3O6, & EVCD #2O3O, ‘OO)
Enrico Rava: "Pupa o Crisalide" (RCA / Vista #TPL 1~1116, ‘73)
Enrico Rava:  "Quotation Marks" (Japo #5OO1OST, ‘73)
Archie Shepp: "Blasé" (Charly CD #77, ‘69)
Archie Shepp & Jeanne Lee (West Wind #2O36, ‘84)
***Mal Waldron, Jeanne Lee, Toru Tenda:  "White Road Black Rain" 
     (Tokuma  #7O782, Japan, '95)
Mal Waldron: "Soul Eyes" (BMG / RCA Victor #8355225, '97)
Reggie Workman: "Synthesis" (Music & Arts #634, ‘86)
Reggie Workman:  "Images" (Music & Arts #634, ‘89)
Reggie Workman:  "Altered Spaces" (Leo '93)
Various Artists: "Born Free" (Scout #SCS11, ‘7O)
Various:  "American Music of Every Kind & From Every 
    Historical Period:  Jazz & the Avant Garde" (New World, '78)
Various:  "Jazzbuhne Berlin ‘81" (Amiga 8.55.876)
Various:  "A Confederacy of Dunces," vol. 1 (Einstein #OO1, ‘89)
Various:  "Songposts," vol. 1 (Word of Mouth #1OO4~2, ‘9O)
Vocal Summit (Jay Clayton, Ursula Dudziak, Jeanne Lee, 
   Bobby McFerrin, Lauren Newton):  "Sorrow is Not Forever, 
   Love Is" (Moers #2OO4, '82)

Besides the above~named musicians, Jeanne Lee 
worked with, among others: Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, 
Lester Bowie, Peter Brötzmann, Dave Burrell, Don Byron, 
Daniel Carter, Chick Corea, Danny Davis, Malachi Favors, 
Charlie Haden, Julius Hemphill, Leroy Jenkins, Sheila Jordan, 
Jimmy Lyons, Benny Maupin, John McLaughlin, Lawrence "Butch" 
Morris, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, Dewey Redman, & Roswell Rudd.
In addition, she toured with the John Cage Bicentennial Concerts 
(NY Philharmonic; Boston, Chicago, & Cleveland Symphonies; 
Cologne Radio Orchestra, et al.) in '76~'78 & again in '92; 
toured Europe ('82 & '84) in a "Vocal Summit" with Jay Clayton, 
Ursula Dudziak, Bobby McFerrin, & others; & sang in a 
production with Mickey Davidson & Ntozake Shange at the 
Whitney Museum's midtown branch in NYC in '91. 

* Regarding Carla Bley’s "Escalator Over the Hill," listed above, 
an astonishingly beautiful 83~minute rehearsal & concert film 
by the same name was made by STEVE GEBHARDT, 
22O W. 14th St., #1, Cincinnati, Ohio 4521O, , (513) 241~8866, 
& he has copies for sale @$29.95 + $5 shipping. "Escalator" 
Jeanne Lee is seen singing for a little while in the film.

** Many of the Birth Records issues & reissues are available via Gunter Hampel's Web site, <> & </page17.html>, but prices are stated in Deutschmarks, so if you are not in Germany, you may wish to send him an Email:

*** These four recordings are presently available from Cadence, Redwood, 
NY 13679, USA, phone (315) 287~2852, fax 287~286O, Email , , reasonably priced from $13 to $26.


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