Ella Fitzgerald in Japan - JazzWax

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May 03, 2011


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"completely out of the cage and looking for a brawl" - That phrase brings to mind the take-no-prisoners battles that Jaws and Griffin recorded at Minton's, which many readers will be familiar with. I read somewhere that Jaws was often put in charge of jam sessions because he wasn't shy about kicking less formidable players off the stage. I also remember an interview in which he stated that he wasn't originally interested in music, but noticed that sax players got lots of girls (this was a different era.) Perhaps this explains his licentious tone.

Irving Greines

I've been an Ella fan for more than 50 years and attended many of her concerts in the 1950's and 1960's. I own many of her "live" albums. I must say that this one---Ella in Japan---replicates most closely the "live" feel that I recall from her concerts. This really is what Ella sounded like back then. I love this album. It brings me back to then.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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