"If you want to learn how to sing," said Vincente Minnelli, "listen to Ella Fitzgerald."

My mom was a fan of Ella Fitzgerald, so I grew up hearing her music. What I didn't realize until just a couple of days ago, is that by the time I heard her sing in the late '60s, she had already been delighting audiences for close to thirty years! The Ella Fitzgerald that my mother introduced me to was already an "old" lady in my mind; heck, she was older than my grandparents! Needless to say, I didn't give her nearly as much credence as my mother did. But that was then.

Keeping an optimistic outlook, I like to think that one of the benefits of having Chiari is that the pain often confines me to bed and gives me time to expand my already oversized brain. And when that happens, I turn to my vast collection of documentaries for entertainment. The body of Ken Burns' filmography forms the backbone of my collection, and no matter how many times I watch one of his pieces, I never get tired of it. When the coughing from this doggone cold incapcitated me, it seemed natural that I would watch, again, one of Burns' longer works. This time, I chose Jazz. How glad I am that I did because it reintroduced me to the glorious voice of Ella Fitzgerald and enabled me to finally appreciate why my mother had admired her so much.

I now count The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books among the playlists on my iTunes. If you're not familiar with Ms. Fitzgerald's voice, I recommend that you click on the link and listen to any of these songs:
  • "Begin the Beguine"
  • "A Ship Without a Sail"
  • "Isn't It Romantic?"
  • "Take the 'A' Train"
  • "Mood Indigo"
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1 Response
  1. Funny...

    My Da was a huge Ella Fitzgerald fan. He used to play her music whenever he could get away with it (which -with four daughters- was not often).

    I recently bought an Ella compilation in his memory and put it on in the car. The kid complain whenever it come on, but I don't care. I figure: In thirty years, they will appreciate this....


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