Compiled by Sid Gribetz
First published – June 2020
Pages in this Discography:
- Etta Jones Session-Based Discography
- Index of Songs Recorded by Etta Jones
- Index of Personnel that Recorded with Etta Jones
b. November 25, 1928, Aiken, South Carolina
d. October 16, 2001, Mount Vernon, New York
Etta Jones was one of the greatest jazz vocalists in the truest meaning of the word. She sang with a strong personal style, digging deep into the lyrics to reveal their inner meaning and invest them with keen emotion. Etta also swung! She possessed the great rhythmic and improvisational sensitivities of a jazz soloist, and she delivered the blues and the American popular songbook with unmitigatingly raw power.
Etta was born in South Carolina but raised in Harlem, New York. She made her first mark as a 15 year old at the Amateur Contest at the Apollo Theater, where she attracted the attention of Buddy Johnson who needed a temporary replacement for his sister Ella. Following that formative early experience, Etta Jones paid her dues in the music business for many years. Etta made her breakthrough with Don’t Go To Strangers, her hit record for Prestige in 1960. After several years of producing more fine records for Prestige, Etta teamed up with tenor saxophonist Houston Person. For over 30 years they toured the country, and the world, and made many recordings, concerts, and nightclub appearances in their sympathetic, soulful manner. Etta and Houston had a long relationship with record producer Joe Fields. Fields marketed many of their recordings on his Muse and HighNote labels, still ongoing under the guidance of Joe’s son Barney.
During her lifetime, I championed Etta for many years to spread her gospel and attempt to enhance the full popular recognition that somehow eluded her but was her due. But also, my secret ambition was to dispel two great misconceptions – she was often confused with her equal, the soul giant Etta James; and the mistakenly reported idea that she was married to Houston Person and not just his musical partner.
Years later, I’ve come around to prepare and publish this discography to preserve and present the factual details of her recordings. Listen!!!!
Notes on the presentation:
Under “location”, the default presumption is New York City, so if no city is mentioned it should be New York. However, in the few instances where the location is unknown, location is left blank also for that reason.
I’ve aimed to include all original and early releases, as well as all common US reissues over the years. I also include foreign issues that are in my collection or that I’ve seen in other archives. However, I do not intend or presume to include a comprehensive list of all issues that may be prevalent worldwide in this internet age.
Where known, I include the release date of the recording, with the exception that if the original release is fairly contemporaneous with the session, it is not included. The few instances where I cannot ascertain the date of a release, there, too, it is left blank.