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RADIO

The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)

Read "The Songbooks (1950 - 1959)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Songs from what came to be known as the Great American Songbook, have been part of jazz perhaps since The Original Dixieland Jazz Band began recording Irving Berlin compositions. In the 1940s, singer Lee Wiley recorded several collections of 78s, known as “albums"--a name that stuck into the LP era, focused on the work of individual composers like George Gershwin or Cole Porter. With the advent of the Long Playing record, the idea of recording whole LPs dedicated to the ...

FILM REVIEWS

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things

Read "Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Just One Of Those Things Ella Fitzgerald Eagle Rock90 minutes 2019 In the public mind, Ella Fitzgerald was unarguably one of the great jazz figures of the twentieth century. She mightn't be fetishized the way Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Chet Baker have been--there wasn't quite enough tragedy in the singer's life for that kind of attention--yet perhaps more than any other jazz musician, Fitzgerald is globally synonymous with The ...

RADIO

Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie

Read "Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Winding up Jazz Appreciation Month with special birthday shout outs to the Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, pianist Dorothy Donegan, vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Blossom Dearie, among others, with new concept recordings from Nancy Kelly (a tribute to Mark Murphy) , Christina Morrison (duets with five other women vocalists) and Ellynne Rey (a study of birds). Playlist Toots Thielemans “Strutting With Some Barbecue" from Smooth and Easy (Smith & Co.) 00:00 Cat Conner “Waiting On ...

RADIO

Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald (1936 - 1945)

Read "Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald (1936 - 1945)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Billie Holiday began recording at 18, in a 1933 session with Benny Goodman and was musically active until her death at 44 in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald also began recording at 18 (in 1935 as the singer with Chick Webb), but in her case, her career surged again in the mid-1950's with the songbook series on Verve. They are perhaps the two most important female singers to come out of the Swing Era. We are joined in this hour ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Ella Plays Dice

Read "Ella Plays Dice" reviewed by Eve Goldberg

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

Read "Ella Fitzgerald sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book" reviewed by Mark Barnett

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." ...

GETTING INTO JAZZ

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book

Read "Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book" reviewed by Mark Barnett

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

Read "Hommage To Ella Fitzgerald at Moncalieri Jazz Festival" reviewed by Antonio Baiano

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

Read "Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

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

Read "Jazz Quanta April – Five Women IV:  Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Eisele, Stacy Sullivan, Eileen Howard, Lauren White" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ella Fitzgerald: Live at Chautauqua: Volume 1

Read "Live at Chautauqua: Volume 1" reviewed by James Doherty

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

Read "Ella Fitzgerald" reviewed by Mathew Bahl

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 ...


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