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HISTORY OF JAZZ

Ella Plays Dice

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Ella Fitzgerald was eating a piece of pie when the police burst into her dressing room, guns drawn. Nearby, Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Illinois Jacquet were playing a game of craps. The place was Houston, Texas. The date was October 7, 1955. The occasion was a sold-out concert at The Music Hall, one stop on tour for Jazz At The Philharmonic. Standing in the wings while Gene Krupa's band performed on stage, tour producer Norman Granz heard the ...

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book

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Getting StartedIf you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. Background The Great American Songbook--songs written from the 1920's to the 1950's by giants such as Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin brothers--has inspired jazz musicians and singers for generations, supplying the raw material for endless improvisation. In listening to jazz, a good rule of thumb is “Know the song and you're halfway there." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Cheek to Cheek

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Cheek to Cheek, a four CD box set, collects three classic albums from Verve Records featuring Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald: Ella and Louis (1956), Ella And Louis Again (1957) and Porgy And Bess (1958). This sequence began before rock and roll had deepened its roots--in spite of the Elvis Presley blossoming--and before The Beatles had arrived to change the music world. The popularity of the long playing record album was picking up speed, with a little help ...

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book

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Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. Background The Great American Songbook--songs written from the 1920's to the 1950's by giants such as Cole Porter, Rogers & Hart, Duke Ellington and the Gershwin brothers--has inspired jazz musicians and singers for generations, supplying the raw material for endless improvisation. In listening to jazz, a good rule of thumb is “Know the ...

IN PICTURES

Hommage To Ella Fitzgerald at Moncalieri Jazz Festival

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The 20th edition of the Moncalieri Jazz Festival celebrated jazz masters that would have turned 100 in 2017: Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Italian composer Armado Trovajoli. The first tribute was dedicated to Ella with the “Blue Night of Jazz," which featured many concerts held in downtown Moncalieri as well as a main event in Piazza V. Emanuele II. First on the stage was the Italian singer Simona De Rosa, who ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial

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Blessed with an instantly recognizable voice full of youthful exuberance and a three-octave range, noted for its pristine and pure tone, the legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald is, along with singer Billie Holiday, the most important singer of the 20th century. She has been called “The Undisputed Queen of Jazz Singing" or “The First Lady of Song" and these nicknames simply reflect the remarkable and inimitable vocal abilities she possessed. While her incredible technical abilities were pretty much evident, when ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Quanta April – Five Women IV: Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Eisele, Stacy Sullivan, Eileen Howard, Lauren White

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We are enjoying a rich period of jazz vocals creation; the story continues... Ella Fitzgerald Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set Verve 2016 Ella Fitzgerald is certainly the vocalist to include first in this review as hers is one of the few voices that are the jazz vocals gold standard. The Universal Music Group, owner of the Verve Records catalog, have discovered yet one more way to repackage ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Chautauqua: Volume 1

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Live at Chautauqua, Volume 1 (Dot Time Records) captures Ella Fitzgerald in concert in July 1968. Accompanied by the Tee Carson trio, the eclectic programme ranges from her 1938 breakthrough hit “A-Tisket A-Tasket" through to contemporary pop and Broadway tunes, taking in some selections from her famed songbook series along the way. As Ella explains on her introduction to “Sunny," her intention is “to do something for everyone." While her forays into contemporary pop would sometimes prove unwise, the blend ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Ella Fitzgerald

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This article was first published in June 2004. Considered by many to be the 20th century's greatest female singer of jazz and American popular song, Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) is one of the few singers whose work transcends generations and musical genres. Fortunately, over the course of a career that spanned six decades, “The First Lady of Song" amassed a nearly unrivaled discography. It is a testament to Fitzgerald's art and her place in popular culture that the vast ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Vocal Jazz: 1951-1968

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These 17 years play out like the vocal jazz equivalent of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Much of the core body of work that makes up vocal jazz was recorded during this relatively short time span. These were the years that saw some of the greatest jazz singers working at the peak of their powers. In the late 1940s, American record companies stumbled upon two ideas that have since become the cornerstone of the ...