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We All Love Ella: Celebrating The First Lady Of Song

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A star-studded album from legendary Producer, Phil Ramone, pays tribute to one of the most celebrated female vocalists of all time, Ella Fitzgerald. PBS Great Performances Concert Special We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady Of Song. A live concert featuring performances by Natalie Cole, k.d. lang, Lizz Wright, Patti Austin, George Duke, Quincy Jones, Dave Koz, Cyndi Lauper, Ruben Studdard, Nancy Wilson, Wynonna, Take 6. wil start to air on June 6, 2007 as part of PBS June Pledge series.

Covering songs made famous by Ella Fitzgerald is a daunting endeavor, since only Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan challenge her place as the premier female jazz vocalist in history. But the late Fitzgerald inspired and influenced a wide array of talented acolytes--from Natalie Cole to k.d. lang to Dianne Reeves--many of whom gather on this spirited, Phil Ramone-produced tribute to partially benefit the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. Cole, backed by an eager gaggle of call-and-response male worshippers, breathes fun new life into the swingy "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," while Chaka Khan, showcasing the breadth of her range, delivers a transporting rendition of the enchanting jazz blues "Lullaby of Birdland." (The two also team up for a delicious scat-fest on "Mr. Paganini.") If lang is equally transfixing on the ballad "Angel Eyes," it's newcomer Ledisi who steals the show with "Blues in the Night," her expansive soprano often mimicking a muted or full-tilt trumpet, one of Fitzgerald's hallmarks. Performances from Etta James and Nikki Yanofsky also rivet, even if Diana Krall and Hank Jones's "Dream a Little Dream of Me" comes across as a little too sleepy, and Gladys Knight is probably not the best singer for "Someone to Watch Over Me." The album surprises with a live duet ("You Are the Sunshine of My Life") between Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder, recorded at the 1977 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Although it seems tacked on, it doesn't grate nearly as much as Michael Bublé's "Too Close for Comfort," so slick it would put an eel to shame. Skip over that transgression, and turn to the antidote of Lizz Wright's sultry take on the melancholy "Reaching for the Moon," which plumbs emotional depths not even the ever-joyous Great Lady managed to attain. --Alanna Nash
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: November 4, 1972
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000PA9Q3M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
We All Love Ella is a touching tribute to The First Lady Of Song. This album gives us a terrific fifteen classic Ella Fitzgerald ballads covered by some of the best artists currently in the business. Just one listen proves it!

The CD track set starts with a bouncy rendition of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" by Natalie Cole. The bass works well and so do those horns and percussion! Natalie swings brightly on "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Chaka Chan truly does prove her wide vocal range with a pretty awesome rendition of "Lullaby Of Birdland." The key changes between major and minor work well for "Lullaby Of Birdland." Chaka sings this passionately with all her heart and soul; her excellent diction bolsters her performance. Moreover, Queen Latifah turns in a rousing interpretation of "The Lady Is A Tramp." Queen Latifah never sounded better; and the arrangement for piano, horns, drums and percussion really shines!

"Dream A Little Dream Of Me" features Diana Krall and Hank Jones; although some may think that this interpretation runs a little too long I personally like it very much. Diana Krall and Hank Jones perform a marvelous version of "Dream A Little Dream Of Me." Listen also for a flawless performance of "(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have To Swing It (a.k.a. Mr. Paganini)" by Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan.

Ledisi performs "Blues In The Night" with panache; and the big band style arrangement impresses me with its percussion and horns. Ella would be smiling! "Miss Otis Regrets" gets the royal treatment from Linda Ronstadt who sings this with excellent diction, sensitivity and style.

We get an excellent duet between Ella Fitzgerald herself and the great Stevie Wonder recorded live in concert; their electric chemistry is unmistakable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* VINE VOICE on September 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"It's been a privilege to be a part of this tribute to Ella. These artists have continued the legacy and lessons that she gave to us all. There's something magical about doing the work of Ella Fitzgerald." ~ Phil Ramone ~

What better way to commemorate the First Lady of Song's 90th birth anniversary this year than listening to this newly-released tribute CD, "We All Love Ella" consisting of 15 of the most significant songs identified with Ella Fitzgerald. The whole CD is just tremendous with a repertoire of timeless standards as interpreted by some of the best contemporary singers in jazz and R&B who injected a whole lot of new flavors to these enduring songs by the Gershwin Brothers, Rodgers & Hart, George Shearing, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Bob Russell and Benny Goodman, among many others. Most of the songs were arranged and conducted by a fine orchestrator Rob Mounsey, and some are from the creative charts of Billy Childs, Alan Broadbent and John Clayton.

For the opener, Natalie Cole sings an original composition by Ella which she co-wrote with Al Feldman, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" followed by Chaka Khan's take on "Lullaby of Birdland" done with a new twist. Cole and Khan team up as they present with pride and dedication one of the best tracks in this collection, "If You Can't Sing It, You'll Have To Swing It - aka Mr. Paganini."

Diana Krall with her distinctively sultry voice, presents an all-time favorite of mine "Dream A Little Dream Of Me." Michael Bublé's "Too Close For Comfort" is a show-stopper and as always he never fails to disappoint his fans with his flawless rendition of this song with a fresh and an absolutely beautiful arrangement by Billy Childs. It's one of my top favorites here.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Seand67 on June 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'We All Love Ella' is a first rate tribute to the First Lady Of Song, Ella Fitzgerald. While I agree with the previous reviewer on many points, I'll try to focus on the project as a whole. Verve must be commended for asembling such a formidible list of singers & musicians on this CD, and you can't help but feel good while listening to the various interpretations, which are all top rate. The one track which caught my attention from the start was the LONG OVERDUE DUET between Natalie Cole & Chaka Khan! The two divas' voices blend SO WELL on '(If You Can't Sing It) You'll Have To Swing It (A.K.A. Mr.Paganini)', and I also love the arrangement of the song, which is long enough for Chaka & Natalie to sing & scat up a storm.

There are so many other highlights on 'We All Love Ella', BUT the failure to include songs by TWO prominent Ella disciples (Patti Austin & Dee Dee Bridgewater), was questionable (IMO). Both of these legendary singers recorded Ella tribute projects in the past ('Dear Ella' & 'For Ella' respectively!), and they could've shined on this new CD singing 'Our Love Is Here To Stay' & 'How High The Moon ?'. Both of these songs are Ella classics without question, but are absent on 'We All Love Ella'. Oh well, maybe Verve will cook up Volume 2 ?

All in all 'We Love Ella - Celebrating The First Lady Of Song' is a first rate tribute to an American Icon, and I applaud everyone involved for the great music...which is one of the finest 'tribute' projects in recent memory. I'd also like to thank Phil Ramone for NOT releasing a shabby collection of songs (most of those countless 'remake' CDs on Shanachie Records comes to mind!!). Obviously a lot of thought & time was invested in producing 'We All Love Ella', so I'd recommend it to jazz lovers everywhere.

Peace, SD

(of 'Chakasworld')
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Topic From this Discussion
Missing track from We All Love Ella?

I believe two different versions of "We All Love Ella" were released. One ended with Yanofsky's "Airmail Special" and another omitted it in favor of the three Ella Fitzgerald originals. If I remember correctly, I bought both versions at Borders--one for me and one for my... Read More
Jun 19, 2010 by W.H. |  See all 3 posts
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