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4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting tribute to a true Lady of Song.,
This review is from: We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song (Audio CD)With a vocal range spanning three octaves, she was noted for her purity of tone, near faultless phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. She is widely considered to have been one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook...."
This is a heartfelt, loving tribute to the great singer for which Verve Records has gathered a top-notch group of genre-spanning artists and a legendary producer to create an album that genuinely pays tribute to its original subject.
"We All Love Ella" is produced by hit maker Phil Ramone and filled with passionate performances of classics made famous by Ella and sung by world-renowned singers and break-out stars Michael Bublé, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Dianne Reeves, Linda Ronstadt and Lizz Wright.
Most of them are part of the so-called SERIAL COLLABORATORS, a new generation of musicians, who have all but abandoned their own musical endeavours in favour of hitching a ride in this kind of music projects, call them DUET or TRIBUTE albums.
Whether it's Diana Krall's tender "Dream A Little Dream", Natalie Cole's swingin' "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", k.d. lang's sultry "Angel Eyes" or the extraordinarily sassy and powerful "Blues in the Night" by newcomer Ledesi, the performances on "We All Love Ella" keenly display Fitzgerald's expansive musical range and show how her style influenced generations of musicians from all backgrounds
The woman herself, Ella, appears on the album.
In 1977, Stevie Wonder sat in with Ella during her performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This impromptu collaboration yielded a charming duet on Stevie's classic "You are the Sunshine of my Life". This recording is released for the first time over on this tribute album!
Many are the guest musicians :Gerald Clayton (Piano), Billy Childs Trio (piano, arranger), Regina Carter (violin), Alan Broadbent(Piano), Christian McBride (bass), Dean Parks (Guitar), Tom Scott (Saxophone), Anthony Wilson (Guitar), just to name a few.
"Genius Loves Company" - V.A. A tribute to Ray Charles
A Tribute To Joni Mitchell - V.A.
"Duets: An American Classic" - Tony Bennett
"So Amazing...An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross"
"Duets" - Frank Sinatra
"Duets II" - Frank Sinatra
All in one world, a great homage to the Great Lady of Song.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary Take on Ella,
This review is from: We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song (Audio CD)"We All Love Ella" is a compilation CD of new arrangements of old Ella tunes put together as a tribute to Ella and to benefit the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation. This CD provides enjoyable listening, if you're into smooth jazz, and is well worth the price. Some thoughts on the individual tracks:
A-Tisket, A-Tasket - Natalie Cole
Fun (and well done!)
Lullaby of Birdland - Chaka Khan
The melody of this song is tough to sing (quick, wide interval leaps), and Chaka sluffs off a few notes. With a little more effort on her part, it could have been perfect.
The Lady is a Tramp - Queen Latifah
Now I know why I never heard anyone sing the verse (opening) to this song before--yuck! QL could stand to take a few liberties with the melody and lyrics; she plays it a little too straight. Otherwise--great!
Dream a Little Dream of Me - Diana Krall & Hank Jones
Although Ella may have sung this song, does it really belong on a tribute CD? Diana Krall has a wonderful voice, but this arrangement is slug-like (Hank's piano playing aside).
Mr. Paganini - Natalie & Chaka
The intro is a bit dragged out but after that, the song starts hummin'. Love the scat!
Oh, Lady Be Good! - Dianne Reeves
Nice! This girl also knows how to scat! Does she do it spontaneously?
Reaching for the Moon - Lizz Wright
Excellent! Not jazz, but an erotic and poignant contrast to the rest of the CD.
Blues in the night - Ledisi
Bravo! A dusky, intricate and high-powered journey through the blues.
Miss Otis Regrets - Linda Ronstadt
Yes! Very much captures the feel of Ella's (Ethel's) original.
Someone to Watch over Me - Gladys Knight
This arrangement is a little too "fluffy" for my taste; Gladys finally builds up some desperately needed horsepower toward the end--only to fluff-out again.
Do Nothin' till You Hear from Me - Etta James
Nice vocal by Etta, but something's weird here (bass drum on the backbeat, perhaps?)
Angel Eyes - k.d. lang
If any other vocalist on this CD attempted "Angel Eyes" at this dirge-like tempo, it would be a tough-sell, but k.d. pulls it off admirably.
Too Close for Comfort - Michael Bublé
Slick as snot, and about as appealing.
You Are the Sunshine of My Life - Ella Fitzgerald & Stevie Wonder
Included as a courtesy to the memory of Ella, evidently--perfunctory, at best.
Oh yes, and the bonus track by Nikki Yanofsky - what can I say? Nikki is one of the Wonders of the World (the eighth, ninth, tenth?--how many are there?) Her "Airmail Special" rendition is youthfully exuberant, as well it should be, but strikingly adept, nonetheless. In fact, every Ella tune that then 13-year-old Nikki sings on her "Ella...of Thee I Swing" concert CD/DVD combo, available at amazon.ca, is more dynamic, engrossing, and "Ella-like" than the corresponding name-act versions found on this CD. For a real thrill, check it out. What a kid!
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We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song by Various (Tribute) (Audio CD - 2007)