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At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1975 Live

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, April 1, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

FITZGERALD ELLA AT THE MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL 1975
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000YZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,233 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Exciting and thrilling, Ella is in top form for this live set, at the 1975 Montaux Jazz Festival, although Ella At Montraux 77 is better, this set is essential too, with a especially spontanious version of Ellington's classic jazz standard "Caravan" Every track is pleasurable, and Ella is as smooth and sweet sounding as ever, always swinging, and taking lot's of chances with improvisations... Really exciting...
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Format: Audio CD
Ella Fitzgerald's "Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1975" is one of her most notable live recordings that I always enjoy listening to. It is lively, exuberant and full of spirits. As always, there is that inherent glow in all her performances, which validate the First Lady of Song not only a mere singer, but a total performer as well.

Listen closely to what she did with one of Antonio Carlos Jobim's classics, "Wave," where you could hear a little over five minutes of purely ingenious scatting. She was very good at it so I would say that she was truly the "Queen of Scatting," another title I used to describe her remarkable artistry. Her innate flair for scatting can also be heard on her uniquely engaging "How High The Moon," the longest running track from this set. Moreover, you'll be delighted to discover that there are snippets of song(s) she reveals within a song, which I would call "Song(s) Within A Song." I simply love it when singers/musicians do that creative approach in their interpretations. A few examples below.

"Wave" - (Heatwave)
"How High The Moon" - (Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Swingin' Shepherd Blues)
"The (Girl) Boy From Ipanema" - (I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Brazil, Cielito Lindo, Agua De Beber, Fly Me To The Moon, Temptation and a few Brazilian songs)

Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn/Johnny Mercer's "Satin Doll" and Gene de Paul/Sammy Cahn's "Teach Me Tonight" are standouts as well.

The equally talented musicians who brought their expertise with their respective instruments and their wealth of experience as sidemen include Tommy Flanagan on piano, Keter Betts on bass and Bobby Durham on drums.

This is wholeheartedly recommended to all vocal jazz fans who greatly appreciate live recordings. Happy Listening!
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Format: Audio CD
What more can be said about Ella Fitzgerald?--probably the best female jazz vocalist of all time. There are those who rate Bille Holiday higher, but Ella had all of the tools in the toolbox--voice, swing, emotion, versatility, and--oh--that improvising. She, like Sarah Vaughan, was a musician's musician because she used her voice like an instrument--she wasn't singing in front of the band, she could BE the band. There will never be another like her. So, why do I like this album so well, of all her many albums? Well, first, it's Ella live--and that was her true element. She could record in the studio as well as anyone, but one listen of her live tells you how much she loved interacting with an audience. In this album, she does that in spades.

Others have noted that her voice on this album might not have been what it once was. Who cares? On a bad day, she was a better vocalist than 99% of the performers out there today, and this outing was no bad day for her. In fact, she sang with verve and enthusiasm that would have exhausted vocalists half her age. Like some of Sinatra's 1960's recordings, the voice might have some wear, but the person--approaching the autumn of a life well-lived--has an emotional connection to the music that can only come from that crucible of living. Ella, in this live setting, lets all of that show. There are many highlights on this album, but my personal favorite is the last tune, "T'aint Nobody's Business If I Do." It is probably the second or third encore sung by an undoubtedly exhausted Ella after a concert rife with long, demanding tunes, and the tune is one of Lady Day's "anthems." No matter, Ella tackles it, and OWNS it. Indeed, it sums up all of the joys, work, emotions, and hardships of life in six minutes of magic.
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Format: Audio CD
The title of this review is taken from one of Ella's vocal riffs on this record, and is therefore is testament to her spontaneity. This disc, along with "Ella in London" (1974), is my favorite of Ella's live recordings. As is the case with "Ella in London"--I don't love all the cuts equally, but what is good here is very good, and enough for me to love this CD as a whole. The Jobim tunes, 'Wave" and "The Girl from Ipanema", are standouts; the latter features Ella's particular talent for weaving samples of melodies into the fabric of a song, so that ultimately the tune becomes a mere shell for her vocal improvisation; she even references "The Moon Walk"! Other highlights include the set opener, "Caravan", and the set closer "T'ain't Nobody's Bizness if I Do". "High How the Moon" is also noteworthy; although this is not my preferred version of Ella's, her placement in this cut of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" as a sample is brilliant. The crowd here is obviously much larger than that of "Ella in London", but she establishes a similar kind of intimacy with the audience, especially with her sense of humour, to which they respond enthusiastically.

Stephen C. Bird, Author of "Any Resemblance To A Coincidence Is Accidental"
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