We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song

Various Artists

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We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song Review

by John Bush

Despite her name on the cover and her photos in the credits, Ella Fitzgerald's shadow doesn't loom over this tribute album, which is a good thing. A succession of female vocalists (plus Michael Bublé and Stevie Wonder) pay tribute to Fitzgerald with their own interpretations of her best-known standards. Despite the fact that few of the singers originated with jazz vocals (most started in R&B), they're usually able to nod to Fitzgerald's greatness but also impart a degree of wisdom themselves. Virtually all of them appear in front of the same band, and the consistency helps the collection from being too scattered. From Natalie Cole's delighted "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" to young Nikki Yanofsky's scatting "Airmail Special," the vocalists each find something interesting to say. Highest points go to Dianne Reeves, whose "Oh, Lady Be Good" has the same sublime power as Fitzgerald's, and Queen Latifah, who finds the proper amount of sass to inject into "The Lady Is a Tramp."

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