Ella Fitzgerald - Classic or more Classic or even more Classic than that?

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Seriously, is there anyone else who can seriously be considered in her league? I mean, there's a lot of indisputably great singers, but she blows past every one of them effortlessly.

Oilyrags, Saturday, 20 October 2007 01:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

As far as I'm concerned, her all-scat version of "Rockin' in Rhythm" from the Duke Ellington Songbook record is the most exuberant and joyous recording of anything ever. But the whole On the Sunny Side of the Street album is indestructible as well.

Oilyrags, Saturday, 20 October 2007 01:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

she blows past every one of them effortlessly

Debatable, obv. She's a much easier listen than Billie Holiday. But she doesn't hit as deeply which isn't necessarily a deficiency. Still, no Ella I've heard has wrenched my gut more than Billie's "For Heaven's Sake." Or, um, "Strange Fruit."

And are you only talking jazz here? Cuz...Leonard Cohen, um, Poly Styrene, Lefty Frizzell (the Ella of country), and my all-time favorite singer, one Mr. George Jones.

Kevin John Bozelka, Saturday, 20 October 2007 01:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

The version of "Strange Fruit" that appears on Smithsonian's Jazz Singers box set, that is.

Kevin John Bozelka, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

annie ross! mad underrated.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

There may be some drink involved in my single-minded enthusiasm.

Just the same, her instrument is extraordinary in its beauty and power, and while she may not convey sadness as well as Lefty, George or Billie, I'd argue her ability to convey joy far outstrips any of theirs. Then there's her not-at-all secret weapon - the solo scat chops that place her as an equal not only of just about any jazz singer, but any jazz instrumentalist as well, if not first among equals in that category.

Oilyrags, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'd argue her ability to convey joy far outstrips any of theirs. [...]the solo scat chops that place her as an equal not only of just about any jazz singer, but any jazz instrumentalist as well, if not first among equals in that category.

this is where i think annie ross rivals her.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've only heard a couple LHR songs. Really, though?

I have to admit that Stevie and Aretha can probably match her for joyousness.

Oilyrags, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

I need to say "joy" a few more times in this thread.

joy joy joy joy joy joy joy

Oilyrags, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

dude on "everybody's boppin" there's this moment where ross goes dizzy & sings

that's it that's it that's it that's it

and it is like joy vocalized

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 20 October 2007 02:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ella is beyond classic. I think maybe that it's her effortlessness in handling even the more difficult material that makes her seem a little more pilsbury than she really is.

christoff, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Whenever Ella Fitzgerald sings 'I'm gonna leave you', it invariably sounds like she's going to pop into the kitchen to make some sandwiches" - said a musician friend of mine recently, quoting ...I don't kno' whom exactly.
Well, made me wonder a bit.
Never been a great Ella fan myself; nor, on the other hand, by any means a hater. Which, I reckon, boils down to a 'lukewarmness' on my part as a listener, then.

t**t, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can anyone recommend an Ella record that is really all about the scat singing? I feel like I could use a concentrated dose, but the few records I know are mostly straight-ahead vocals with a few scatting tracks mixed in.

dad a, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Satchmo rivaled both her and Billie in all respects, as far as I'm concerned: as musician and vocalist, heart-tugger and joy-bringer.

JN$OT, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

love billie's voice but the lucidity and pitch perfection of ella's is wow

Surmounter, Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's Ella for me

Tom D., Tuesday, 23 October 2007 16:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

dude on "everybody's boppin" there's this moment where ross goes dizzy & sings

that's it that's it that's it that's it

I've just listened to this song three times in a row and don't which part you're talking about. Where exactly in the song does this happen?

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oilyrags is WNYC's Jonathan Schwartz

Hurting 2, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Satchmo rivaled both her and Billie in all respects, as far as I'm concerned:

This is kind of an understatement considering how much both of them owed him in terms of influence, especially Billie

Hurting 2, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hurting OTM.

I used to have an Ella problem because she was a little too upbeat and had been known on occasion not to pay too much attention to the lyrics, and a Billie problem because maybe sometimes she was a little too maudlin. I preferred Dinah Washington. But now I'm over that- it's all good.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

But yeah, Ella is particularly good on that Ellington Songbook record, her chops are used to maximum jazz effect because she has to keep up with the band.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ellington and Billy Strayhorn also brought out the best of Rosemary Clooney on that record they did with her.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 26 October 2007 04:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

I always used to prefer Dinah Washington for similar reasons. I also had a general jazzbo-musico bias against singers though.

Hurting 2, Friday, 26 October 2007 05:01 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ernestine Anderson is the new Dinah Washington.

James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 26 October 2007 05:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've got to investigate Sassy a little further- all I've got on her is that live album with Richard Davis and either Roy Haynes or Lewis Hayes where she knocks over her lyrics stand during "Willow Weep For Me."

James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 26 October 2007 21:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

I had to google Jonathon Schwartz. Seems like a good guy, if a little singleminded. I bet he'd never start a thread about Spice-1.

Oilyrags, Friday, 26 October 2007 22:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

>_<

kkvgz, Friday, 30 July 2010 13:25 (six years ago) Permalink

she's just crazy bout horses

teledyldonix, Friday, 30 July 2010 16:57 (six years ago) Permalink

i love this thread title. EF is as force of nature - Hurricane Ella (?)

fried ice cream is a reality (outdoor_miner), Friday, 30 July 2010 17:15 (six years ago) Permalink

Even more classic than that

Mordy, Friday, 30 July 2010 17:24 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Just heard a track off the box set of lost live recordings that came out at the end of 2009, Twelve Nights in Hollywood, and it was amazing.

Matching Poll: The Soft Machine Mole (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 February 2011 02:28 (six years ago) Permalink

OK, been listening to this and it really is Ella like you've never heard her before, like that Sam Cooke Live At Harlem Square was Sam like you never heard him before.

ilxor astro-ilx? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 February 2011 21:45 (six years ago) Permalink

good to know! i'll have to get it at some point -- i've been reading a bit of this http://www.amazon.com/Biographical-Guide-Great-Jazz-Singers/dp/0375421491 lately and it's making me get out my jazz vocal stuff.

tylerw, Friday, 25 February 2011 21:50 (six years ago) Permalink

OK, been listening to this and it really is Ella like you've never heard her before, like that Sam Cooke Live At Harlem Square was Sam like you never heard him before.

Okay, I definitely need to get this, then. Link?

Le mépris vient de la tête, la haine vient du cœur (Michael White), Friday, 25 February 2011 22:09 (six years ago) Permalink

(xp)
There was a box but now it is OOP, now split into two two CD sets
Vols 1 & 2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AYUX8M
Vols 3 & 4: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003PLYJBW

One weird thing, can't find a listing of the band anywhere on the packaging: but searching intranets tells me it is
bandleader Lou Levy on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Gus Johnson on drums.

There is a great story from Middlebrooks here:http://www.pitt.edu/~atteberr/jazz/articles/ella.html

"That night in Berlin, we were in front of twelve thousand people and at the end of a midnight concert. We had played Brussels earlier, flown to Berlin and been up for twenty-two hours. We were all so tired we couldn't hold our heads up, when Ella turns around and says, 'Let's do "Mack the Knife."

"My heart sank. I was too tired. We were in front of too many people to try something crazy, and I knew Ella didn't know the tune. I said, 'Well, golly Ella. . .' but before I could say anymore she had turned around and was announcing it. I looked at Paul and he just grinned. Of course he could play anything, but I was still a young dude and needed to run things down once. Paul said, 'I'll start us with the "Here Comes Charlie" vamp in G.' I could handle that, so we commenced. And just about the time I started feeling good (after a couple of choruses), Ella gave Paul a hand signal and switched to A-flat. She had great pitch, and I could hear just where she was going, but staying with her was something else. Paul just looked up at me and grinned.

"I thought, 'Well, I know she doesn't know this tune, so surely she'll stay put,' but I'll be damned if she didn't change keys again at the end of the next chorus, and the next and the next. We ended that thing in D-flat. It was all Paul could do to keep from laughing at me, for I was hanging on by the fingernails, as they say. I remember thinking at the end of the fourth or fifth chorus, 'Well, she's about as lost as she can get, Louis Armstrong will show up any minute,' because when Ella got lost in a swing number, she usually fell back on her Louis imitation, which was a sure fire a crowd pleaser. And sure enough, about that time, here came Louis.

ilxor astro-ilx? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 February 2011 22:27 (six years ago) Permalink

That's really great

Le mépris vient de la tête, la haine vient du cœur (Michael White), Friday, 25 February 2011 22:52 (six years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

finally getting around to the 12 mights in hollywood thing -- heavenly. so great.

tylerw, Monday, 10 October 2011 15:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Wow, I missed the release of 12 Nights In Hollywood entirely, just listening to samples now. Again, wow. So great.

Prostetnic Vogon Limbaugh (Dan Peterson), Monday, 10 October 2011 15:20 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, just seems like an embarrassment of riches. listening to her vamp on "perdido" now -- " someone asked for perdidohhhh, don't know the words to perdidohhhh!"

tylerw, Monday, 10 October 2011 15:25 (five years ago) Permalink

Haha, I just heard that too!

Prostetnic Vogon Limbaugh (Dan Peterson), Monday, 10 October 2011 15:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Recently started reading around in that Will Friedwald biographical guide to the great jazz singers tyler mentioned upthread. Very nice.

An Outcast From Time's Feast (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 12 October 2011 02:28 (five years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

This Jazz Icons Live DVD is pretty good. First show features some version of the Oscar Peterson Trio, only without Oscar Peterson. Despite what it says on the back of the box, the inside essay by Will Friedwald says it is Don Abney.

If There's a POLL Below, We're All Going to Vote (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 17 June 2012 14:23 (four years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

calzino, Friday, 27 January 2017 23:32 (four months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I heard someone on the radio saying her 100th birthday is coming up earlier and couldn't get this one out of my head for some reason.

calzino, Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:01 (one month ago) Permalink

calzino, Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:27 (one month ago) Permalink

Lizz Wright's tour is gonna be a tribute to Ella's 100th birthday, and there's been several tribute gigs in DC. I've been listening to her theatrical take on Bacharach & David's (kinda sexist) "Wives & Lovers"

curmudgeon, Saturday, 15 April 2017 18:16 (one month ago) Permalink

holy shit

Mordy, Monday, 17 April 2017 01:35 (one month ago) Permalink

happy 100th Ella, absolute ledge.

calzino, Tuesday, 25 April 2017 15:22 (one month ago) Permalink

As usual, the Night Lights radio series comes up with an astute profile, delving and sweeping through the decades----I really wanna get the whole Porgy and Bess with Armstrong, the Gershwin songbook, and more like "Stompin' At The Savoy" (those live albums, yow)--stream/download here: http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/ella-57-ella-fitzgerald-flies-high/

dow, Tuesday, 25 April 2017 16:58 (one month ago) Permalink

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 25 April 2017 19:56 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Clap Hands Here comes Charlie is such a beautiful album, damn! I absolutely love it right now.

calzino, Monday, 15 May 2017 00:16 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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