Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb|
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Part of the Swingsation series designed to introduce fans of recent swing to the originals (other titles include Jimmie Lunceford and Louis Jordan), this is an infectious collection that features one of the most swinging o... more »
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Part of the Swingsation series designed to introduce fans of recent swing to the originals (other titles include Jimmie Lunceford and Louis Jordan), this is an infectious collection that features one of the most swinging of 1930s bands, drummer Chick Webb and his Orchestra. While Ella Fitzgerald gets top billing, it's really Webb's show. Five of the 18 tracks are instrumentals, and the earliest three are from 1934, actually predating Fitzgerald's joining the band. Webb is literally "Mr. Rhythm" and his drumming is always lively, whether he's driving the band along or exploding on a solo or brief break, adding a panoply of percussive effects with cowbells and wood blocks. The band responds with punching brass--lead trumpeter Mario Bauza can fill a room with sound--and saxophone riffs, and there are some terrific soloists in the group, like trumpeter Taft Jordan and saxophonists Louis Jordan and Hilton Jefferson. The choice of songs emphasizes Fitzgerald's talent for novelty and rhythm tunes, with period treats like "When I Get High" and "Wacky Dust," as well as better-known tunes like her first big hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." It's entertaining, thoroughly danceable music, a terrific introduction to an exciting band and the early years of Fitzgerald's great career. --Stuart Broomer
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Very dancable Ella
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're into swing dance this is a CD you just have to have. The sound is clear and the beat is perfect. Cut number 10, "I Want to be Happy" is perfect for a partener Charleston. If you never heard Chick Webb, this should be your first CD."
I dare you to listen to it just once
bencharif | Staten Island, NY United States | 02/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over the years I'd heard "A Tisket, A Tasket," one of a number of Ella Fitzgerald's signature songs, several times, but I'd dismissed it as a novelty of its period, interesting chiefly because it gives us a taste of the very young Ella. Boy, was I wrong. Judging from her performances on this CD, it's obvious that even the very young Ella was in remarkable control of her gift. From the beginning, she seems to have understood herself as a musician whose instrument was her voice.Still, this is as much the Chick Webb Band's show as Ella's, and after listening to this installment in the Swingsation series again and again, I can't get those arrangements out of my head. They're intricate and clever and, yes, they really swing. And so do the individual band members.With the exception of "A Tisket, A Tasket" and "It Ain't Whatcha Do, It's the Way Thatcha Do It," the songs on this CD aren't classics. But unlike Peggy Lee, whose material, in my opinion, was only rarely her equal, Ella Fitzgerald managed to distinguish even second-rate songs--in this case, with a big boost of energy, wit and imagination from the Chick Webb Band. This CD is much more than some cute relic; it's classic American music of the mid-20th century. Be be warned: Listening to this music is addictive. I dare you to listen to it just once."