For Ella

For Ella

5.0 2
by Patti Austin
     
 
With the German WDR Big Band behind her, pop vocalist Patti Austin salutes Ella Fitzgerald with a collection of songs from the jazz singer’s repertoire. Though influenced more by Dinah Washington than by Fitzgerald, Austin’s big and beautiful voice sounds delightful with a large orchestra. And she obviously loves Fitzgerald’s style, as she illustrates on the heartfelt

Overview

With the German WDR Big Band behind her, pop vocalist Patti Austin salutes Ella Fitzgerald with a collection of songs from the jazz singer’s repertoire. Though influenced more by Dinah Washington than by Fitzgerald, Austin’s big and beautiful voice sounds delightful with a large orchestra. And she obviously loves Fitzgerald’s style, as she illustrates on the heartfelt tribute “Hearing Ella Sing.” Another standout is “How High the Moon,” where Austin’s scat section is perfectly balanced with the band. She swings through “Too Close for Comfort” and “Honeysuckle Rose” while giving “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” “But Not for Me,” and “Miss Otis Regrets” late-night ballad readings. Over the years Austin has had trouble finding a place in the popular music arena, but it wouldn’t be surprising if this set put her on the jazz circuit. She is certainly classy -- and talented -- enough for it.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Patti Austin is well qualified to record an album in the style of Ella Fitzgerald, having spent her career shadowing the paths taken by Fitzgerald and her contemporaries. Although she has worked in R&B-oriented adult pop much of the time, she is clearly in the tradition of Fitzgerald, and in 1988 she even recorded an album of standards that she tellingly titled The Real Me. For Ella easily could be the sequel to that collection. Austin traveled to Köln, Germany, to record a program of songs associated with Fitzgerald with the WDR Big Band conducted by Patrick Williams. Many of the songs, of course, are just ones Fitzgerald happened to sing but that have broader associations as well, such as George & Ira Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and "The Man I Love," though others, such as "A Tisket a Tasket," inevitably evoke Fitzgerald. Austin does not, for the most part, attempt to sing in Fitzgerald's style, giving listeners her own interpretations that, in Williams' neo-swing arrangements, nevertheless hark back to the 1950s. That's fine for the most part, though the version of "Miss Otis Regrets," which treats it as a gospel performance in the manner of Mahalia Jackson, without the slightest touch of humor, is a misstep. On two occasions, Austin does copy Fitzgerald, re-creating the scat sections of "You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)" and "How High the Moon." That obviates the problem of having to compete with Fitzgerald on her greatest improvisational triumphs, but it's a technical achievement of an odd sort. Austin is better off putting her own stamp on the songs; that she does very well.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2002
Label:
PLAYBOY JAZZ
UPC:
0013431750321
catalogNumber:
7503

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Patti Austin   Primary Artist,Vocals
Patrick Williams   Conductor
John Goldsby   Bass
Dave Horler   Trombone
Rick Kiefer   Trumpet
Koji Paul Shigihara   Guitar
Gregg Field   Drums,Drum Sticks
Rob Bruynen   Trumpet
Andy Haderer   Trumpet
Bernt Laukamp   Trombone
Klaus Osterloh   Trumpet
Olivier Peters   Saxophone
Rolf Romer   Saxophone
Harold Rosenstein   Saxophone
Heiner Wiberny   Saxophone
Frank Chastenier   Piano
Jens Neufang   Saxophone
Ludwig Nuss   Trombone
Lucas Schmid   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Albert Jung   Cello,Celli
Mischa Salevic   Violin,Concert Master
Caroline Harrison   Violin
Manuela Belchior   Violin
Ursula Maria Berg   Violin
Stephan Blaumer   Viola
Adrian Bleyer   Violin
Koenraad Ellegiers   Violin
Wilfried Engel   Viola
Tilmann Fischer   Cello,Celli
Colin Harrison   Violin
Georg Heimbach   Cello,Celli
Bernhard Oll   Viola
Dirk Otte   Violin
Ingmar Püschel   Violin
Katja Püschel   Viola
Ulrike Schäfer   Cello,Celli
Christoph Seybold   Violin
Kai Stowasser   Viola
Chizuko Takahashi   Violin
Sonja Wiedebusch   Violin
Chiharu Yuki   Violin
Johannes Oppelcz   Violin

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Patti Austin   Liner Notes
Patrick Williams   Arranger,Producer
WDR Big Band   Contributor
Milton Ager   Composer
Bob Bigelow   Composer
John Burk   Executive Producer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Don Murray   Engineer
Jack Yellen   Composer
Gregg Field   Producer
Wolfgang Hirschmann   Producer,Engineer
Carol Friedman   Cover Photo
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Glen Barros   Executive Producer
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Charles Bates   Composer
Albert Jung   String Contractor
Michael Hock   Recording Assistant
Hugh M. Hefner   Liner Notes
Andrea R. Nelson   Art Direction
Norbert Ommer   Sound Reinforcement
Seth Presant   Engineer
Thomas Sehringer   Recording Assistant

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For Ella 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quincy Jones has introduced in the past decades many new voices and Patti was one of those.We should pay justice to Q as all of them had talent.However it's quite a difficult task to get rid of Jones'protegeé association.Patti always proved to be free of such task.That album shows that she has her own spotlight ...bighter and brighter.A must-have!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patti Austin has been a voice that has been impactful to artists and fans for many years. This recording, FOR ELLA, is the culmination of all of the years of life a singer brings to the table to create a recording that becomes a classic by which all others to follow will be measured. Ms. Austin demonstrates a level and understanding of the genre that would be impossible for a younger artist to understand. This is the quintessential Patti Austin...