Ella Fitzgerald: Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)
The Best of the Songbooks: The Ballads (Verve 314 521 867)
Composed by Duke Ellington & Bob Russell.
Recorded: Los Angeles, September 4, 1956
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Jazz players often perform this song in a glib, jaunty manner. But this Ellington standard needs to be handled with care. The equivocal lyrics, which seem to suggest the admission of an infidelity ("some kiss may cloud my infidelity"), present a psychological labyrinth. They allow the singer to adopt a pose or dig in deep. Ella takes the harder path and chooses to probe the pathos behind the words -- a decision all the more commendable given the fact that this artist often slides along the surface of her songs. Here Ella shows how acute she could be as an interpreter of brokenhearted ballads. Of course, no vocalist of her generation had greater technical command than Ella, and when she marries her prepossessing skill to a deep penetration into the inner meaning of the material, the results are magical. All that said, Ben Webster plays a perfect solo that is every bit as brilliant as the vocal. This ranks among the finest of songbook performances.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
The Legacy of Ella Fitzgerald by Ted Gioia
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