Definition of vocalese in English:



  • [mass noun] A style of singing in which singers put words to jazz tunes, especially to previously improvised instrumental solos.

    • ‘‘Things Will Never Be the Same’ begins with haunting choral samples before bursts of static and tendrils of looped guitar squall converge on distorted vocalese to form a final glistening drone.’
    • ‘A six-time Grammy nominee (talk about frustration), Elling has released six albums of audacious vocalese that trumpet his daring range and intellectualism.’
    • ‘The song then veers from a subtly dropped house break to a harrowing repetition of the introductory mantra (enhanced by some serious squeals) back to the same break completed with one phrase of muted diva vocalese.’
    • ‘As for Veda's vocalese, she sings sotto voce, something for which she makes no apologies.’
    • ‘Thus vocalese is distinctly different from scat singing both because it is arranged and composed rather than improvised, and because it relies on language rather than simply sound.’
    • ‘Memories of the great vocalese star Jon Hendricks come to mind.’