Ella Fitzgerald: Flying Home

Recorded in 1945, but unreleased until 1947, “Flying Home” is a key track in Ella’s huge discography and a watershed in her career. It was the product of over two years' experimentation during live performances in extending the boundaries of jazz singing, and remains among the finest jazz vocal records of all time. In it she harnessed scat singing for its musical potential rather than exploring any subjective dimension of her singing. While on the one hand it was rightly hailed as a vocal tour-de-force, on the other it showed, for those who cared to listen, that as early as 1945 she was already aligning herself with the new thing in music: bebop. It would turn out to be one of the most important career moves of her life, but one that would take a couple of years to be fully realized.

February 19, 2008 · 0 comments


Lionel Hampton: Flying Home

Jazz's most indefatigable showman, legendary vibist Lionel Hampton, routinely whipped "Flying Home" to such a frenzy that one such performance climaxed with his entire sax section jumping fully clothed off a cruise boat and into the Potomac River. For this exciting studio version of his clamorous closer, Hamp keeps everyone on board, energetically deploying such familiar Swing Era devices as call-&-response patterns, riffing saxes, upward-smearing trombones and ear-piercing trumpets (led by Ernie Royal). Tenorman Illinois Jacquet, though, steals the show with a roguish proto-R&B solo guaranteed to leave you as wringing wet as a late-night dunk in the Potomac.

November 11, 2007 · 0 comments


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