Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women's History Month: Ella, Kathryn Bigelow, Mom

Coming up: Ella in Hollywood: side 2. And congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow on winning the Oscar for THE HURT LOCKER. Maybe now we'll get more pix with real people instead of CGI? Nah.

Side 2
Nice Work If You Can Get It  Straight delivery...comfortable as an old hat...

I Can't Get Started  After the 1:00 mark, Ella gives it to someone talking in the audience saying, "Yak, yak, yak"...I'll bet whomever that was was glad it wasn't Sinatra or Tony Bennett...Bennett's autobio says he and a buddy worked over Don Rickles for an insult as Bennett walked into a club during Rickles' act (this was early in Rickles' career and Bennett claimed he didn't know this was Don's stock in trade)...

Give Me the Simple Life  Rollicking in under 2:00...followed by a swinging...

Caravan  Wide vocal range show, the high notes teasingly sound like she's thinking of scatting...but no...

The track One for My Baby opens with Ella referring to the last song she sang, remarking “They let me sing it this time.” She must have been hypersensitive to crowd noise or this was an above average boisterous audience. After a slow gallop dum-de dum-de countryish piano intro, a howl of recognition from one audience member is heard when she begins.

Lorelei is downright naughty, “that gal on the river…who had the goods and could deliver.” The audience hoots at the bridge when Ella declares, “this is where the striptease comes in!”

A-Tisket A-Tasket is Ella’s signature tune. The peppy intro of her contemporary Verve recording is familiar to us but apparently not yet to this audience and the entire audience is euphoric when they hear the first lyric. Later on, I dug when the band put down their instruments and sang in a call and response “so do we so do we so do we so do we so do we.” I’m thinking the style of Pennsylvania 6-5000 or Whatcha Know Joe. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s unexpected, like a hockey game breaking out at a boxing match. But no, once again, no one in the band can find that little yellow basket, lost in Ella’s first big hit (1938) and still lost in 1942 on a bus in “Ride ‘Em Cowboy” with Abbott and Costello. If you see it, let me know.

Coming soon: Witchcraft, Gone with the Wind
Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe, It's Delovely, The Lady is a Tramp, That Old Black Magic
 Lullaby of Birdland,  Ella Introduces the Band, Imagination, Blue Moon, Joe Williams' Blues

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