Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sunday night is.. Ella and Joe Pass

Sometimes television is just right. Yesterday over supper there was a splendid tribute to Humphrey Littleton on BBC4, followed by a programme about Ella Fitzgerald. Her voice is the most remarkable of jazz vocal instruments. It floats with such absolute ease it could appear - for a moment only - faintly bland and chocolatish but for the rich invention, timing, modulation, playfulness and joy and, best of all, the bottomless well of emotion you sense in it, the whole without apparent striving and certainly without affectation, as if music were the loveliest, bluest game.

Perfection is rarely moving: hers is. This is 1983 in Japan. She started not as a singer but a dancer.


Mark Granier said...

I have loved Ella's voice since an old friend introduced me to A Tisket A Tasket when I was about 16. Skin-tingling clarity combined with (as you say) ease, pure ease.

dana said...

There's a sweetness to her voice that's never saccharine. It's as if she's expressing emotion x in the kindest, most tender way possible. Maybe I hear lullabies, because her music was played at home from the earliest days.

George S said...

Mark & Dana - Yes, all that. It's like saying: Look I found this voice in the street and it fits me perfectly.