Miss Ella Fitzgerald
“Listen – Ella Fitzgerald – Sunshine of Your Love – MP3″
Here we are in the middle of the week and I figured the time was ripe to drop something funky from someone who existed in a universe light-years removed from the world of funk, that being one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time, Miss Ella Fitzgerald.
But first, an update on all thing bloggish.
As reported previously, I recently did my part in stimulating the economy by purchasing a new laptop, which is pretty much devoted to the Funky16Corners blog. It is the machine where I do my writing, and pretty much everything having to do with podcast assembly.
The workstation on which I digimatize the vinyl for use herein (as well as the podcasts) is, to put it kindly, antiquated. The PC itself (and the software I use to record the vinyl) is close to ten years old (with my turntable running through an old Sony tuner which is itself almost twice as old as that).
When I picked up the laptop the first thing I did (or attempted to do) was install all my vinyl-related software on the new machine. I was worried that I’d have problems with Windows Vista, but everything seemed to install OK.
Unfortunately, when I tried to run the various and sundry software, NONE of it worked properly. Some of these problems were due to the age of the programs (a few of which barely ran on XP) and at least one of the serious issues had to do with a bizarre Vista issue.
Since the older systems were all still up and running, none of these problems created any cataclysmic issues, but I wanted to get going on the new computer, so I got to work.
A couple of the programs had to be replaced/updated, which wasn’t a huge deal since none of them are very expensive, and since I was on borrowed time for so long anyway, I couldn’t complain too loudly.
The Vista-specific issue was something else entirely, requiring a slightly time-consuming workaround.
I figured, since the vinyl digimatizing workstation was so old, I probably ought to figure out how to do it on a newer computer as a hedge against the inevitable hardware failure (which as someone with IT experience, I can say is LONG overdue). So, I fell by my local Radio Shack, grabbed the necessary cabling and got right to work. This being the clichéd silver lining around the dark cloud, it took me a relatively short period of time to figure out the process (or so I thought, heh heh…).
That was on Saturday.
Sunday comes and I grab some more records to work on, and I realize that a lot of what I recorded on Saturday seemed to have a pronounced hiss, so I dug a little deeper in the PC settings and discovered an input level I missed on the first go-round, which when adjusted caused said hiss to disappear.
That said, I had to re-record everything I did on Saturday (which since we were having a fairly lazy Sunday wasn’t a huge deal). Henceforth, most of the vinyl rips (after I run through my current stockpile, which is probably a month long) will be from the new set up, and all recorded at a higher bit rate.
So, back to today’s selection…
Like so many of her contemporaries, Ella Fitzgerald took a shot at working the hip, NOW (right on, far out etc) side of the street in the 60’s, up to and including then current rock/pop/soul material. The 1969 LP ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ was recorded live in San Francisco with a big band led by pianist Tommy Flanagan. The LP also included the version of ‘Hey Jude’ used recently in Funky16Corners Radio 54. No matter what your feeling are on the issue of jazz singers/musicians extending their stylistic reach like this (and there are a lot of folks on both sides of the issue who consider it sacrilege, though their underwear is probably wound too tightly) Ella does a bang up job on the tune. She doesn’t really alter her style all that much, grabbing the Cream tune and making it work for her, and the arrangement by Frank DeVol (much better known as a composer of TV theme songs) is actually pretty cool.
As far as I can tell, the session was recorded for, and initially issued by MPS/BASF, then issued in the US by Prestige (with an MPS credit on the jacket) and then re-issued in the 70’s by Verve. I have no idea how that happened but my assumption (as these things happen often) is that one conglomerate got swallowed by another. There was also a 45 issue of the tune on Prestige.
Either way, it’s a very groovy side, and I hope you dig it. See you on Friday.