- I’ve Got to Be Me
- Good Morning Heartache
- Some of These Days
- Miss Otis Regrets
- You Turned the Tables on Me
- Nice Work if You Can Get It
- Any Old Blues
- Lemon Drop
- Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
- These Foolish Things
- A-Tisket A-Tasket
- Smooth Sailing
There must be quite a story about this concert,
which was recorded in 1973 at the Carnegie Hall as part of the
Newport Jazz festival of that year. Unfortunately Sony Jazz who
have released it in their low price series do not choose to tell
us what it is. What a shame!
The superb Tommy Flanagan Quartet provides the
backings on the first four tracks. (The back cover calls him Tommy
Flanagran!) It is like as though the company have decided that
as the record is cheap, it’s production has been left to the office
boy. This is a shame because the CD is Ella working at her very
best to an enthusiastic audience.
The Tommy Flanagan Quartet has Joe Pass on Guitar,
Keeter Best on Bass and Freddie Waits on Drums. Tommy Flanagan
is a brilliant pianist with a total understanding of Ella’s needs
from an accompanist. These first four tracks get the concert off
to an excellent start. On tracks 5 & 6 Ellis Larkins on piano
is featured in a duet with Ella and again the blend is good with
Larkins providing his own bass lines. On tracks 7 & 8, the
Tommy Fanagan Quartet returns for Any Old Blues and the only Ella
Fitz. version I have heard of Lemon Drop, the latter demonstrates
that Ella was the best ‘scat’ singer of all time.
Tracks 8 7 9 are duets with guitarist Joe Pass
and Ella sings both of these ballads with great expression and
superb jazz feel. Joe pass provides the perfect accompaniment.
The final tracks, 11 and 12 feature Ella singing
with a re-creation of the Chick Webb Orchestra led by Eddie Barefield.
It was in the band of Chick Webb that Ella first came to prominence,
after winning a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
As I mentioned earlier, the production is poor
but the record is excellent in sound quality and quality of performance.