Ella Fitzgerald & Chick Webb: A-Tisket, A-Tasket


A-Tisket, A-Tasket


Ella Fitzgerald (vocals) and Chick Webb (drums)


Ken Burns Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald (Verve 549087)

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Ella Fitzgerald (vocals), Chick Webb (drums),

Mario Bauza, Bobby Stark, Taft Jordan (trumpets), Nat Story, Sandy Williams, George Matthews (trombones), Garvin Bushell (clarinet, alto & baritone saxes), Louis Jordan (alto sax), Teddy McRae, Wayman Carver (tenor saxes), Tommy Fulford (piano), Bobby Johnson (guitar), Beverly Peer (bass)


Composed by Al Feldman and Ella Fitzgerald. Arranged by Al Feldman (aka Van Alexander)


Recorded: New York, May 2, 1938


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

     Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Brown at Birdland, photo by Marcel Fleiss

Ella Fitzgerald's breakthrough hit was based on a 19th-century nursery rhyme. At age 21, she plays a girlie who lost her itty-bitty basket, resorting as the track unfolds to increasingly childish vocal inflections, as if undergoing hypnotic regression. It's spooky coming from a grown woman. What redeems this track from dated novelty is the Chick Webb band, one of the Swing Era's finest. The trumpet and sax sections are particularly potent, and Webb could swing a big band with less exertion and fewer theatrics than his better-known competitors. Not even the ensemble's hoary call-&-response vocalizing diminishes their excellence.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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Related Links

The Legacy of Ella Fitzgerald by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Ella Fitzgerald Performances by Stuart Nicholson
”Ella Fitzgerald” by Stuart Nicholson (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)

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  • 1 CHARMAINE JONES // Feb 27, 2008 at 07:52 PM
    my personal opioin on ella fitzgerald is that she was a great artist in the 6 grade i was her in our school wide jazz play i know all of her songs i love her music she is well known to my family im in the 9th grade now and i am doin a report on her for who i look up to she was a great black-american women