Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ella Fitzgerald: recollections during Jim Crow

Ella Fitzgerald recording in a studio.

When she began to put on weight her sensuality increased embodying something men wanted to hold, become a part of, as she got deep into the lyrics and swelled within the songs like a lady. Jazz and sensuality moved women and shaped them. It was very different the things ladies of the darker hue, from Ella Fitzgerald's era, conjured. Not wanting to say words that will separate and make younger singers defensive, suffice it to say, jazz pulls out what the times require. - Gregory E. Woods, percussionist 4/25/17

Ella Fitzgerald deep in song.

"There is a resemblance between Ella Fitzgerald and Mahalia Jackson in their spirit and deep approach from within towards deep translation, reflection and knowing about song in relation to condition of the soul!" - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 4.25.17

Ella Fitzgerald onstage during the 1960's, maybe.

"I can hear my father making a bit deal about the sound and size of her voice back then!! We had a lot of voices developed to high level back then, and enjoyed live television. It was a natural format for TV because the previous generation grew up on live entertainment. It means a lot being exposed to musicians and singers constantly developing before live audiences beyond expectations. The tempo of the bands fluctuated and not every note was perfect. It kept the sound fresh and organic free of the pretense of machines today's audiences are used to. Why this is an important footnote is obvious to one mindset, another? Well." - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 4.25.17

Ella Fitzgerald adored by Dizzy Gillepsie (r.) and support by top ranked bassist, Ray Brown and other musicians I can't right remember right now.

That's Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Brown in the background! God, that must've been a helluva sound. This has to be in the 1940's. One had to be unbelievably sharp to be onstage with the likes of these musicians. I often ponder the internal strength it took to be a Colored artist in those day. I have wondered . . . "Could any of today's Colored musicians have developed the what for to survive and live through Jim Crow under those circumstances?" - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 4.25.17

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