tv Doc Film - Pure Love - The Voice of Ella Fitzgerald Deutsche Welle November 1, 2018 4:15am-5:01am CET
often found out that five we are the similar service and. they want to share the continents future it's hard and join our youngsters as they share their stories their dreams and their challenges for the seventy seven percent w.'s platform for africa charged. with him had to be done to go sockless with the highest i know if i had known that the boat would be that small i never would have gone on the trip of you i would not support myself and my parents you know how dangerous the vote of the theme of the going to be to flee it would. come up one funky little hut that one little bit of that is i'm i have serious problems on a personal level and i was unable to live there with my thumb going to. want to know their story and for migrants verified again for my will information for margaret's.
you. i. when i would hear her voice it was just something so happy that's the thing she made me feel happy she made me feel safe. it's. been one hundred thirty eight ella fitzgerald collaborated to make a jazz piece out of a children's rhyming game to skid tasked. he was a first hit with the chick webb orchestra and marked the start of an unparalleled
career spanning five decades. that it. didn't really. know much. no other voice was more influential in twentieth century jazz the color fitzgeralds the queen of jan and the first lady of janice the first lady of song was you saying yes she had a very long career it's really three generations that are now the third generation is now speaking so they grew up with their grandparents listening and their records
it's clarity comes from her internation she hits the pitch right in the bull's eye and that's why we can understand the words so clearly we don't hear all these overtones mulet muddying up the pitch so we hear this clarity and that clarity of pitch is experienced as a kind of purity of tone which reminds us of an essential aspect of the human voice and see a lot of times the rhythm section is make the singers sound better the singers can float on top of whatever's happening musically. and sometimes it's the interpretation of vocalists has that just you know obviously souls the song but as far as this time feel we always really look real i own the rhythm section so that was one of the few singers that. contributed to the time feel into the
overall groove of music. initially ella dreamed of becoming a dancer instead because of a last minute decision she became a singer. at your humble beginnings in yonkers new york ella just fifteen when her mother died fled her abusive stepfather dropped out of school and lived on the streets of harlem. and mentioned there before the age of seventeen ellen got her big break at the legendary apollo amateurs night talent show. rather than dance she decided to sing big band leader and drummer chick webb became a protective figure as he fostered her exceptional talent. when she started out with chick webb the chick singer up front with the band was supposed to be. beautiful dress in the guy sit in the chair sing her a little chorus in the middle of the song get up and sit down well from the very
beginning she didn't sit down she. and waved her arms and interacted with the news this is if she were the conductor and told chick that she wanted to learn how to jam with the boys in the band that it was. and she's blending in to speak and like one of the you know instruments in the band she might jump and sing with the trombones or play in a with the sax is a playin with the trumpets you know she's had this ability everything by ear. she thought he brought me in he brought me out he brought me to my audiences and without him what would have happened to me. when our mentor died in one nine hundred thirty nine young ella took over his band and continued to lead it
successfully for several more years. an astonishing accomplishment for a young woman called them at a time when jens was still generally considered disreputable. basic in the thirties you would never take your mother to a jazz concert you would never take your wife you might take your mistress you know is that kind of thing but you would never respect when respectable people went to see jazz if the prince of wales liked jazz but he thought he was salami and that was sort of the attitude people enjoyed it but it was very much underground and even in the black community it was looked down upon in the beginning the black middle class and the black religious class looked down on jazz that had to do with gambling it had to do with. low class low sexual morals and things like that but but you know people like ellington and really gave it a kind of respectability i mean after al i really you could take your mother to here to a jazz concert. beat
. i mean you. knew it. was. in the mid one nine hundred forty s. you met and married bassist ray brown i was forging a new style of music together with charlie parker aren't tatum roiled ridge and dizzy gillespie style called bebop. shared a deep musical bond with dizzy who would become an important teacher.
me she stood next dizzy gillespie in all these great great bebop players the people that invented be about me she could hold her own you know so the people that end up scattering. good next to her would be people like dizzy gillespie and roy eldridge and people that actually played horns if you learned bebop heads all the charlie parker tillmans and all those bebop legs you know never there's never a room for sure rigid base you know. i tell them like l. is a great one because she used a great syllables it was just very natural for her when she and provide s.g.m.l. and i think she is the greatest scat singer even today to me she's the greatest guessing. did you really really. she. probably did. think it.
was fun to do you didn't need them then don't. know numbers so she invented a language you know that is actually taught you know oh no you go blot out bebop or do you do do you know and you know maybe that might work not work for you you know but people do it anyway but she did it because that worked for her that was how she could get to where she needed to get to me. oh my that's what you get but it will come back to being you do both i know that she can sketch she could do chorus after chorus after chorus after chorus with. complete ease i know when i was doing her the tribute album to her my dear ella.
i decided one day. that i was going to do air mail special but it really didn't it let it be a little a little italy so and i wanted to do her scat. at the didn't really need a meaning you need a little meaning limited and i have. only given me the way i spent a day trying to get her revved up. to really be able to pull this off and i couldn't do it because it was just not natural for me so i delayed that wind a bit i was like well that's a good idea that i'm going to be ready to do anything and i had the good of that that that that that the facts. oh vote. in the second round for the one nine hundred forty s. she started working with norman grounds already you know legendary music manager
and the founder of the concert series called jazz at the philharmonic. well i would just say i need someone to speak for me and i'll do the sign and norm on the. curb management contract and fifty four. contract at the end of fifty five and started records on my part of it is a had a vision terms of her taiwan's work ethic the integrity of her work the genius of her. entire approach to signing jack. to do it. was.
neat. to live became a fixture of jazz at the philharmonic. with the touring band that brought together the biggest names in the genre in the mid one nine hundred fifty s. she accompanied the show around the world including to the southern united states where the performers faced intense discrimination her manager norma grant's forcefully opposed racial segregation. and well being on the road he certainly and countersigned were said no he didn't encounter and
he purposely. to come francia and every year i come here with jazz of a fellow american every year i think the thing this is the greatest thing in jazz masella that. i remember hearing norman grant's constantly introducing his one and only as mrs gerald the great ella fitzgerald rarely does he ever just use her first name because he was so clued in to the racist climate in the united states. and first lady in a period when we weren't supposed to call a black woman mrs is a very important racialized statement as well it's a statement of stature of prestige. of entitlement to dignity. but the first lady of jazz faced the same discrimination that all black jazz musicians suffered at the time in one nine hundred fifty five she and other band
members were arrested on a trumped up charge after a concert and used in texas. but a year earlier on a stopover in honolulu on route to sydney australia she was forced off the plane to allow white passengers on board. fitzgerald had to wait three days for another connecting flight norman grant's subsequently sued pan am which lost and was forced to pay damages. the case made headlines just like another incident in one thousand nine hundred eighty five. marilyn monroe stepped in when her favorite nightclub the most combo in los angeles refused to let fitzgerald play due to the color band. one row contacted the manager and promised she'd sit in the front row for a week if he let fitzgerald perform. later ella fitzgerald said of monroe she was an unusual woman and ahead of her time she just didn't know.
his child and louis armstrong only collaborator done two albums today those own poems are world famous. it said the pair cracked so many jokes during the recording session that they often had to stop working because they were laughing so hard. on this time norman grants persuaded ella to begin a series of recordings exploring the great american songbook she was skeptical afraid of losing her loyal jazz audience my sense is that it was a surprise insult level because he had tried the idea of the song work out earlier with oscar peterson for example and it didn't really work. he just had the
experience of watching ella fitzgerald with the jazz at the philharmonic his touring group that she could sing standards and reach an audience and he banked on that. as a premise to do this experiment she tried the spec to reel in front of an audience she told them she needed to try it out before she would agree to do this and after she did a concert primarily with standards i think primarily with cole porter she said we can go ahead i saw their faces it'll be fine. be.
there are a lot of the most classic songs that these writers were all but also playings. and norman grabs sifted through. and just thought which of these do you want to set for example that great balance every time we say goodbye that's an example for songs became important because she's sighing and that they were on the song course . the cool porter song book recorded in one nine hundred fifty six was the first of her famous songbook series. the duke ellington songbook from the following year was most important to her personally.
also want to thank. you. one. there are millions are great examples of al as a ballad singer and to me this is one of them she really really put you know her heart and soul into something like this you can tell that she's really feeling it do. you know what. why. they're there. and especially on the song or should i say sometimes it's done people to swing it or they you know do it it's for reverent you know they just do it flip and do
nothing to you hear from me and but mine is this that it's really a love song. and the message is. no matter what you hear or who you hear it from i will always love you. and she brings that out better i think than almost almost any other singer it's a very unique and special performance and. then my mom. was. and that's an area of her canon as it were that really doesn't get enough attention people always talk about what a great scat singer she was what
a great swinger she was what a great band singer she was what a great jazz singer she was and all of that is entirely true but she was a wonderful ballad singer well. she was a gifted improviser. very good at that and that but i do think that was the the lion because when you see that you know all she everybody is like sweet n low and that it is not not at those times you know she was ready to take you down and you know i mean she was monstrous light and if it was out. there that that was. that.
and musicians were afraid of her. instrumentalists i was the she's a musician instrumentalists yeah because she's not come up there and she's going to go back and forth with you she's always got something to say you better have something to say or she'll run you off the stage. like jazz was a means of reaching people and still among the best musicians today it can be that as well but it's sort of you know got the stigma attached to it that compared to say rock and roll music jazz is much more and intellectual whereas that's not what it's supposed to be at all jazz is a means of communication jazz is primarily a means of making people dance and primarily a means of making people smile it's not supposed to be this and similar thing and
ella was the greatest of that that. was. if. people. think it will go by with. all. they could tune their instruments say allah do and i but even more importantly they were spotted her musicianship quite a lot of times musicians calm a whole sanger's as as as riot all the the extra model s. are still predominate with with with outlaw. she was as good or better than the run of the mill of. always on
the road most of the year singing was all she wanted to do. her life. the stages of the world in an audience were all she needed. people clamored to hear her voice and she never disappointed. on her travels or look for its journaled commanded tremendous respect as a black singer. the greatest great. home in the u.s. the struggle against racial segregation and oppression in the one nine hundred sixty s. was marked by escalating violence. as the civil rights movement gained momentum under the leadership of martin luther king jr the queen of jenna's to see more
confident and more resolute before. now. oh yeah but. school teachers just let the spirit flow into them then that's a person in there yes they have the spirit takes over. really. grace is going to put a few quotes in from the american pop star. how central refusing the interview. and there was silence. oh maybe. i don't think they saw a black woman standing there on stage i think the music her music you just were in the presence of something very special you were in the presence
you were you were in this other space i can't. i can't stand pakistan. but appears that because stop none of that i was yes i was like yes i was. but. she didn't really understand the. the affection that people had towards search she did and she didn't i mean she would come out after a concert and say that was a that was a good audience you know nothing about her singing but before hand should be
a rock. very nervous she didn't want to talk to her one time we had a concert that was about sixty miles away when i was road managing her and not one word was spoken in the limo on the way up on the way back you could show her up. in the final years of ella fitzgerald in life jim blackman was one of the few people allowed into her inner circle. i always said that it's a good thing ella was as universally acclaimed as she was because i don't think she could have taken any criticism because it would hurt her feelings. what is. it with you i. did. she she had this ability to make people want to protect her there was something about her that you didn't want any harm to come tour you
didn't want her to have any bad situations in life because she. she felt deeply about things and extremely private you know. extremely private so you know that's why i would think you know see let you see what it was that she needed to have and needed to be the sinus becomes. a defense for how little she wishes to share her what she thinks of it in days answering questions that are invasions of privacy. and war or someone might go to al i'm sorry paul could you do this or do that she says yesterday or as she said there are a lot because she could not remember many people's names yes there. so
than i would be like i asked norman potter to call and speak to norman. norman grounds for presented ella fitzgerald for more than forty years their professional and personal relationship was the most stable bond in fitzgerald's life. in the course of her long career she was showered with accolades like in paris in one nine hundred ninety. he bridgewater met her there after an awards ceremony. when i went to the u.s. embassy i mean there were some in about two hundred people there were at the embassy in there was a big spread and of course champagne and all kinds of drinks and all of these people were talking in this room and there was no ella fitzgerald little bit whereas. i went over and i sit down with her and i said miss fitzgerald and she's didi helen.
why why are you here you know this reception is for you and she said to me something that i have never forgotten she said a few things on that occasion. when she said you know didi i hate these kinds of affairs i hate receptions i hate those meeting crete and she said because people just come to those things so they can get together interested in me you see no one has missed me you're the first person to come in looks. me. the other thing that ella told me was she said i hope you will take the time to be a mother to your children she said that that was her biggest regret is that she did not spend more time with ray jr and she said that was the thing that she wished she could have turned back time. or
adopted ray brown jr while she was married to bassist ray brown. when the marriage ended in one thousand nine hundred fifty three she raised their son alone though she. remained a lifelong friend. was. her singing was in escape from anything that was not good in her life you know and you can tell that her escape was and her desire obviously was to find pure joy because that's what you hear in in her sound that was her that was her heir that was her water that was she loved she lived and loved to sing .
in the late nineteenth sixty's and early seventy's fitzgerald increasingly performed a contemporary soul or pop songs including ones with a political message. offstage she took a political stance in her own way singing at president john f. kennedy's inauguration and supporting robert kennedy's campaign in one nine hundred sixty. following the assassination of dr martin luther king jr in april nineteenth sixty eight ella fitzgerald composed the song it's up to me and you. do.
and we hope you remember it all so very fortunate. and we help you with acting. now. you. where you can. the. mothers can. always get the feeling that she's pointing to the music not her own suffering or difficulties or her own personality or personal story she doesn't and as for her the focus is on the music. as if she takes the
focus off of her self and puts a spotlight on the content of the music by that's really a very modern approach it was he says i didn't see him down a day. you meet you need to of me yet. when you there is. in the final years of her life ella fitzgerald was beset by health problems and increasingly spent more time at her estate in beverly hills than on the road. she suffered from diabetes which led to numerous complications and left her legally blind she could barely walk and underwent heart surgery but none of that stopped her from performing. she lived in seclusion with contact to only a few close friends. jim blackman was one of them and he voted fan who traveled to her concerts for decades she one day acknowledged his loyalty by inviting him over
to her house. what does fan come from fanatic probably but that by that point you know i was friends with her and so i wasn't you know i was accompanying her so. you know and i was it what you know people called me a groupie but you know i always tried to stay away from her and it was she who came up to me it was she who started this relationship not me. that constantly sold it for anything of my still to. be said my dear friends i have given. you. more than that. from the. way. they're certainly can eat. oh are.
didn't get into the sack in the least made my wrap so deep and if you can update you love to see. it the mug shot. it's not there. to do you didn't read the letter did something good did. your plate go back to the mom during. the it didn't stop this little bit the book. did her power go read it but. i don't buy. it is to be read if you make her out a. great. deal of it. would. be doomed oh we'll.
thousand nine hundred one she was terribly thin and could hardly see the scene because she came onto the stage and people were just screaming i love you ella it was unbelievable the atmosphere the love pouring from the audience towards this person folk will see it all and and then she sat on her chair and said i love you too honey well to. an american treasure. which i. knew she had to have coming out onto the stage and she was had a few words to say she just said really i don't know what to say you know thank you but but i can sing you know and i feel like that's where she was most her most comfortable really was performing and she's saying you are the sunshine.
that's was. around. and there were these young people in the audience in the front and she was singing to them and you could tell that it was she was singing to them and it. was. great. i felt that she was singing to me and that she loved shoes. and i felt like she loved me and she loved them and i cry and watch it over and over and over again and each time i cry when i. see that mom on her right. there.
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