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Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Ella Fitzgerald (and Gerald Fits Ella)

While going through the enormous task of putting all of my music on my iPod, I'm getting a chance to review my musical history. This includes revisiting bands I haven't listened to for awhile, but still have a great fondness for (Hello, Aerosmith. How've you been?) as well as bands I haven't listened to for awhile and still won't be (Ye Gods, why the hell did I buy a Cherry Poppin' Daddies album?).

As a result of all this, I've spent the last day or so listening to various recordings by Ella Fitzgerald.

I goddamn love Ella. And I think that--of all the numerous reasons to love Ella--the big thing I dig about her is the fact that, with Ella, it always seems to be about the song. When you hear Ella singing a song, you just get the feeling that that's how it's supposed to sound. A Billy Holiday record is about Billy's voice. Nina Simone and Betty Carter (and I love both of them, don't get me wrong) adapted every song to fit their own styles. But Ella sings the songs the way the writers intended. So, basically, I'm saying that every time Ella recorded a song, she laid down the definitive version.

And so I'm enjoying the hell out of listening to all my Ella discs, as she sings her way through Gershwin, Berlin and especially Cole Porter.

See, this is why ones of readers can't get through a day without Hairshirt. Where are you going to get insight as keen as "I like Ella Fitzgerald"? Bittersweet Jesus, I'm good.

I liker her too!
me likey Ella too...

Do you have The Intimate Ella? Just Ella + piano. Damn great. (It's the album that got me hooked on her way back when...)
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