Bop pianist Tommy Flanagan is considered by many to be the archetypal jazz sideman. Though he lead his own group for years, he was self-effacing enough to take a back seat to a singer or lead instrumentalist when necessary. He supported Ella Fitzgerald, and many of her finest moments were recorded with his trio.
In front of a big band, Fitzgerald is a brassy, sassy singer. In smaller settings, though she still has that natural exuberance, her voice is more controlled and her honeyed lower register gets more of a workout. This 1969 trio session finds Fitzgerald and Flanagan in a mellow mood. Even up-tempo material like a coquettish "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" has a relaxed, laid-back feel. Other standout tracks include a bittersweet "Cabaret" and a cool take on Francis Lai's "A Man and a Woman."