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for Ella

4.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Playboy Jazz
  • ASIN: B000063ULX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By B. J. Lane on June 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Being a huge Ella fan, I had no choice but to grab this new CD in which Patti pays her own loving, yet swinging homage. As far as I'm concerned, this deserves much more than 5 stars!!!
Thanks to the slam-dunk big band/string charts fashioned by that arranger extraordinaire, Patrick Williams, Patti smacks this one right out of the ballpark. Ella put her stamp on thousands of songs throughout her career, but included herein are the creme de la creme of her repetoire, such as "Mr. Paganini" and "How High the Moon" (both sung note for note exactly as Ella recorded them), "The Man I Love," "Too Close for Comfort" (with some explosive scatting in the out chorus), and so on.
One track that will surely get lots of play on my stereo is "Hearing Ella Sing," written by Patrick Williams and Arthur Hamilton (the man who wrote "Cry Me a River" for Julie London).
Kudos to the aforementioned Mr. Williams (fast becoming one of my favorite arrangers), Gregg Field for his explosive drumming and co-producing, and the WDR Big Band and Orchestra for such superb backing that ought to make the Hollywood studio elite take notice.
With this CD, Ms. Austin demonstrates that she can do much more than R&B and pop...this is a must for her fans, as well as those who dig great jazz singing - Ella, we'll never let you go!!!
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Format: Audio CD
I have Patti Austin's tribute to her idol, Ella Fitzgerald "For Ella", pumping thru the speakers now as I'm typing this review. Patti Austin is one of those rare songbirds who always manages to elevate the material she's singing. But on those rare occasions when she's given first-rate material (like on this CD), she is simply on another planet and very few jazz/R&B artists today can touch her vocally.
Obviously "For Ella" is a project very close to Patti's heart. You can tell every note and vocal gesture here is classy, heartfelt, and top-notch vocally. "For Ella" was nominated for a 2002 Grammy Award for "Best Jazz Vocal Performance", yet Patti sadly lost to Dianne Reeves (who won a third Grammy). It escapes me how Grammy voters could have overlooked this CD and awarded Dianne Reeves another Grammy. Patti really pulls out all the stops -- she does vocal acrobatics swooping from high to low and back up there with so much ease. Her scatting is also first rate.
It's only natural that Patti Austin chose to dedicate this CD to Ella Fitzgerald. There have been many tributes to Ella over the years since her passing in 1996, but this one really comes closest to capturing her spirit. Of course there is only one Ella Fitzgerald and no one can ever replace her, but Patti is simply superb and she makes no missteps here. Every song is wisely selected to show off her gorgeous voice. The swing band packs a wallop and gives many songs that extra "Ooomph". There is also a nice balance between the "swingers" and ballads, both superbly handled by Patti and her band.
If Amazon had a 10-star rating system, I'd give it the full 10 stars here. This CD is a MUST for any jazz vocal lover and fan of Ella/Patti. You are missing out on a great musical experience if you pass this one up.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although Ella Fitzgerald is no longer with us, her status as one of the greats of twentieth century is legendary. Her distinctively youthful voice that lasted throughout her lengthy career will stand the test of time and inspire legions long into the next century.

Patti Austin, one of the recording industry's most underrated talents, has put together a moving tribute in song to the late singer. Backed by the superb musicians under the baton of award-winning Patrick Williams, Austin cuts loose on Fitzgerald's most familiar tunes, all standards of the pop world. Highlights are "Honeysuckle Rose," "Our Love is Here to Stay," "But Not for Me," "Satin Doll," and "The Man I Love," and the commemorative "Hearing Ella Sing." Patti also does a better-than-credible take on Ella's patented "scatting."

Even on Ella's most famous tune, "A Tisket, A Tasket," Austin doesn't try to emulate Fitzgerald; Patti just, in the words of Ol' Blue Eyes, does it "her way."

Patti and Pat, prepare your shelves. A Grammy is a-waiting.
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Format: Audio CD
A great singer in the company of a damn good big band and a great arranger, Patrick Williams, and a very thoughtful producer. Patti sings the great songs associated with Ella Fitzgerald, taking a few to new spaces and recreating a couple in Ella's particular style.
Although I love her voice in almost any setting, it is really nice to hear Patti singing with acoustic instruments and not the programmed version of the same. This recording swings with abandon and style; what fun they must have had making this one, you can hear it and feel it. If you like swinging music or like Patti in the full jazz swing mode or appreciate big bands, go ahead and get this one you won't be disappointed. I read that Patti hates categorization of her music (I read she is now doing Chinese pop shows so her categories know few bounds), so in the words of Louis Armstrong, lets just say this is the best kind of music, "GOOD music!"
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Format: Audio CD
When I first heard that Patti Austin was doing a tribute CD to my favorite singer, I knew it would be a jewel. After listening to it, the word "jewel" is a drastic understatement. On several songs, such as "You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)," "The Man I Love," and "How High The Moon," Ms. Austin adeptly matched Ella's range, diction, and overall style. Still, she added a bit of a bluesy/gospel edge to the haunting "Miss Otis Regrets" and shines on the original Patrick Williams-Arither Hamilton composition "Hearing Ella Sing."
For those who aren't familiar with Ella, this CD is a wonderful introduction, and for those who are ardent fans, it is a fitting, well-crafted tribute. If the Ella Fitzgerald story is ever made into a movie then Ms. Austin should be the leading candidate for the role.
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