We all know great vocalists in jazz: Ella Fitgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, etc. etc. But it seems to me that jazz vocals often take a back seat to every other instrument in the band. An overwhelming amount of jazz is performed without a vocalist. Since a major component of jazz is improvisation, why hasn't their been more empshasis on scatting and other vocal improvisational techniques? Personally, I'm not necessarily a huge fan of vocals, per se. (I just wanted to say "per se"). However, a talented jazz vocalist is an awesome thing, arguably as pleasurable as a talented trumpet player, or saxophonist. I'm certainly not saying that jazz vocalists don't exist, and that they're isn't contemporary representation of that skill, but much of the jazz that makes it to the radio and mainstream (unless we're talking about "smooth jazz," but that's a different argument) is instrumental. Why have jazz vocals never been emphasized as much as the other instruments?