Ella Fitzgerald with the Tommy Flanagan Trio

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) is considered beyond a shadow of doubt one of the American greatest jazz singers of all times. During her long artistic career (almost 60 years), Lady Ella’s had played with jazz giants such as singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, bandleaders Count Basie and Duke Ellington and guitarist Joe Pass. Her perfect diction, phrasing and intonation and her incredible voice range (which spanned over three octaves!) made the First Lady of Song famous worldwide.

The songs of this album were recorded live at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival with the Tommy Flanagan Trio (Tommy Flanagan-piano, Keter Betts-bass and Bobby Durham-drums). Fitzgerald’s outstanding vocal abilities matched perfectly with TFT’s superb jazz support. After all, it was not the first time they had met: they had been playing together since 1965.

Their presentation opened with Too Close for Comfort. In the sequence, Montreux’s audience was presented with jazz classics (I Ain’t Got Nothing But the Blues and Come Rain or Come Shine) along with other not so known songs (My Man, Ordinary Fool, I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart). Tom Jobim’s One Note Samba offered an excellent opportunity for Fitzgerald to show her famous scat singing (it should be noted that Jobim himself has written the English lyrics for One Note Samba). Finally, You Are The Sunshine of My Life closed the show.

It was a brilliant jazz evening for the Swiss audience, as we can tell by the final applause. Except for those happy few who had the opportunity to attend the presentation, the only thing that remains for the vast majority that could not do the same is to buy the CD. Recommended!

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