Just before the fall term began, I started reading Stuart Nicholson’s biography of Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography Of The First Lady Of Jazz. As typically happens once the semester starts, my for pleasure and personal learning reading falls to the wayside. So, I am fearful I will not get much further into this book at the present time.
This would be a shame, for I am very much enjoying reading about Ella’s life and legacy in music. I am also already learning a great deal, particularly when it comes to Ella’s beginnings and her time with the Chick Webb orchestra. I am right now at the part of the book that discusses what Ella did after Webb’s untimely death–can’t wait to read more. I am also already populating my MP3 player with some awesome new-to-me artists and songs: Dolly Dawn’s Marshmallow Moon comes to mind on this point. Also, while I was already familiar with her, the influence of Connee Boswell upon Ella has reignited my listening interest in Boswell. This has also allowed me to think some new thoughts about the fundamental influences that pepper an emerging artist’s formative years.
Nonetheless, I have already read and researched enough to know that Nicholson’s biography is a well-written and researched book that has much to add to the understanding of Ella Fitzgerald as a person and as a substantial figure in the rise of vocal Jazz music.
As I progress through my days, I find myself anxiously thinking about when I can crack the book open again.
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