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Ella Fitzgerald

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ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | June 7, 2007
Perhaps there's a dearth of great songs out there. Maybe artists just want to interpret the tunes they loved way back when. Whatever the reason, there has lately been a wave of tributes and tribute albums. In the past few weeks, we have seen the release of A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, a star-studded affair featuring the likes of Bjork, James Taylor and Prince interpreting the poetically complex songs of the singer-songwriter. There's also The Sandinista! Project, a song-for-song remake of the Clash's sprawling 1980 Sandinista!
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ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | March 12, 2009
One of the most underrated vocalists of her generation, Patti Austin has survived countless pop trends in her 50-plus years in music. The category-defying singer-songwriter, 58, made her professional debut at the famed Apollo Theater in New York when she was only 4. The next year, she was signed to RCA Records and guided by her "godparents," the illustrious Quincy Jones and legendary Dinah Washington. In her teens, Austin became an in-demand New York session musician and jingle singer.
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NEWS
June 18, 1996
NO SINGER covered so wide a range of jazz and popular music as did Ella Fitzgerald, who died over the weekend at 79. She rose to fame during the swing era, excelled at scat, was present at the birth of be-bop and recorded an amazing array of music from bossa nova and gospel to anthologies of American popular standards.To the general public, these "songbooks" of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer are the best-known part of Ms. Fitzgerald's rich legacy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | June 7, 2007
Perhaps there's a dearth of great songs out there. Maybe artists just want to interpret the tunes they loved way back when. Whatever the reason, there has lately been a wave of tributes and tribute albums. In the past few weeks, we have seen the release of A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, a star-studded affair featuring the likes of Bjork, James Taylor and Prince interpreting the poetically complex songs of the singer-songwriter. There's also The Sandinista! Project, a song-for-song remake of the Clash's sprawling 1980 Sandinista!
NEWS
July 17, 1998
Beryl Bryden, 78, a jazz singer dubbed "Britain's queen of the blues" by Ella Fitzgerald, died in London on Tuesday of cancer. In a career spanning 50 years, she performed with many of the jazz greats, including Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.Pub Date: 7/17/98
FEATURES
By Fred Rasmussen and Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | July 28, 1996
Thousands of mourners turned out at Waters African Methodist Episcopal Church at 417 Aisquith St. on a warm summer's day in 1939, to say farewell to Chick Webb, the famous jazz-era band leader and East Baltimore native who had died earlier that month.Born and raised near Madison Street and Ashland Avenue, Webb sold newspapers as a boy and taught himself to play the drums in his spare time.Despite physical deformity, which resulted from a childhood fall down a flight of steps and left him in constant pain throughout his life, Webb went on to become a popular band leader and drummer whose popularity was rivaled only by that of Gene Krupa.
NEWS
August 25, 1996
Lillian Clark,70, a big band singer who recorded with Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, died Tuesday in New York of cancer. Born Autilia Ventimiglia, she studied at the Julliard School, intending to become a classical pianist. However, when one of the members of the Clark Sisters left the popular singing group, she auditioned, got the job and changed her name.Alberto Gonzalez,33, the first man in the United States convicted of attempted murder for having unprotected sex while carrying the AIDS virus, died Friday of complications from the disease at Salem Hospital, according to the Oregon Department ofCorrections.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | April 25, 1993
Birthdays are traditionally a time for warm wishes and heartfelt praise, and Ella Fitzgerald's 75th -- which is today -- is no exception. Particularly since this year's festivities include the release of two new retrospective packages: "75th Birthday Celebration" (GRP 619), drawn from her Decca recordings; and "First Lady of Song" (Verve 314 517 898), which skims the cream from her work for Verve.Laudable collections, both of them. But that's the problem. Because when you get right down to it, there are few pursuits more pointless than trying to think up new ways to praise Ella Fitzgerald.
NEWS
January 18, 1994
Roger "Ram" Ramirez, 80, a jazz pianist and composer best known for writing "Lover Man," a song Billie Holiday recorded in 1944, died Jan. 11 of kidney failure at Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, N.Y. Though he is best known for "Lover Man," which he wrote in 1942, his career as a pianist spanned a good portion of jazz history. He was a child prodigy, and by the age of 20 he was performing with some of the best jazz musicians in New York. In 1933, he worked with the cornetist Rex Stewart and the drummer Sid Catlett, and a year later joined the Spirits of Rhythm.
NEWS
April 28, 1993
ONE WEEK after she turned 20 years old, Ella Fitzgeral recorded a silly little nursery rhyme ditty titled "A-Tisket, A-Tasket."That was 55 years ago. The record sold more than a million copies. Ella, who recently celebrated her 75th birthday, has never had another million-selling single. But that hardly meant her life and career were downhill after that. (Which does happen in show biz.) She just kept getting better.Soon, in the view of almost every pop music critic and historian, she was the best at what she did, which is sing jazz and other "popular" music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | April 5, 2007
Don't waste your time trying to peg Lily Allen. It's hard for her to explain what she does musically because it's always shifting. And besides, labels bore her. When her cheeky debut, Alright, Still, landed in American stores three months ago, the buzz about the unassuming British chick with the affinity for girly dresses and sneakers was already strong. In the United Kingdom, where the CD was released last summer, Allen had instantly become a pop sensation, her name constantly in the British press.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | March 8, 2007
The last person Patti Austin wanted to see was Judy Garland. It was the early '60s, and the singer-songwriter, a precocious 13-year-old at the time, was at the Newport Jazz Festival with her parents and godfather, the illustrious Quincy Jones. The bandleader-producer urged the girl to check out Garland's set. Reluctantly, she did, and the aspiring young artist was forever changed. "Her voice sounded like it had been dragged behind a truck for 20 miles on a rope," Austin says of the legendary Garland.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | February 15, 2005
If Lawson Oyekan's marvelous ceramic sculptures at Maryland Institute College of Art are any indication of what the rest of the six-week Tour de Clay festival will look like, it's going to be terrific. The festival, which officially opens Saturday, is coming to town to accompany the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts annual convention, which is being held in Baltimore this year. During the festival, more than 1,000 artists will exhibit their works in about 160 shows; the one at MICA is among the first to open.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,Sun Pop Music Critic | January 13, 2005
Peter Cincotti seemingly walked out of another time, that long-ago era when crooners with smooth matinee-idol looks donned tailored suits, wore gleaming pinkie rings and jazzed up romantic pop fare. He's an old-fashioned cosmopolitan singer-musician -- cool and elegant with a swaggering, Sinatra-inspired approach that belies his 21 years. His latest album, On the Moon, is the more adventurous follow-up to his restrained 2003 self-titled debut. "There are a lot of differences between the records," says Cincotti, who is calling from his home in Manhattan.
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | December 8, 2004
Shirley Horn holds a cigarette to her lips between gloved fingers. She drags on it deeply, slowly. And when that one is done, she lights another. And another. And another until the pack is empty. Then she calls out to her quiet husband of 49 years, Shep Deering, for more Pall Malls, which he promptly retrieves from another room. The Grammy-winning jazz singer-pianist sits at a card table inside her sparsely furnished living room - surrounded by freshly painted ivory walls, plush Kelly green carpet underfoot.
NEWS
July 4, 2002
Ray Brown, 75, a legendary jazz bassist who played with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and his one-time wife Ella Fitzgerald in a career that spanned a half century, died in his sleep Tuesday in Indianapolis. He was in Indianapolis for an engagement at the Jazz Kitchen at the time of his death. Mr. Brown, whose fluid sound helped define the bebop era, started his career in the 1940s and performed during jazz's Golden Age with Mr. Gillespie, Mr. Parker and Bud Powell. He was a founder of bebop and appeared with Mr. Gillespie in the 1946 film Jivin' in Be-Bop.
NEWS
By J. D. Considine and J. D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | June 16, 1996
There was a time, back in the 1970s, when Ella Fitzgerald was almost as well known for her Memorex ads as for her singing. She'd sing a high note and shatter a wineglass. Then a recording of that note would be played and another glass would shatter, at which point an announcer would ask, is the singing real "or is it Memorex?"It will have to be Memorex now. Ella Fitzgerald died yesterday at age 78.Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Fitzgerald had a professional career that spanned some 55 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By RASHOD D. OLLISON | March 12, 2009
One of the most underrated vocalists of her generation, Patti Austin has survived countless pop trends in her 50-plus years in music. The category-defying singer-songwriter, 58, made her professional debut at the famed Apollo Theater in New York when she was only 4. The next year, she was signed to RCA Records and guided by her "godparents," the illustrious Quincy Jones and legendary Dinah Washington. In her teens, Austin became an in-demand New York session musician and jingle singer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By M. Dion Thompson and By M. Dion Thompson,Sun Staff | November 12, 2000
"The African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Country," by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West. The Free Press. 414 pages. $30. This is a great book for the coffee table. It's the kind of volume you flip through while your host goes off to the kitchen to make cappucino, or perhaps pour an aperitif. Rather than produce a narrative tome, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West have written 100 snapshots. Taken individually, these short pieces offer just enough to tantalize the curious mind.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | April 4, 2000
For many people, the high-water mark of popular music came with the emergence of the Great American Popular Song. As realized by the likes of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen and others, this form matched the depth and power of art song with the immediacy of a pop hit. These songs were smart, literate and sophisticated, yet they never came off as snobbish or stuffy and, in the hands of a gifted interpreter -- particularly a Frank Sinatra or...
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