Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, cut her teeth with Chick Webb’s Orchestra, after winning a talent competition at the Apollo Theater, in Harlem. Her soulful vocals saw them through more than 100 recordings and gave the orchestra their biggest hit, in A-Tisket, A-Tasket. In 1942, she left to pursue a solo career and established herself as one of the great jazz singers.
Fitzgerald’s voice has been praised continuously for its purity, and her phrasing and diction are hailed as being second to none. In addition, her uncanny ability to improvise scat lines made her a firm favourite on the jazz scene. Songs such as I’m Glad There Is You, Tenderly and You Go To My Head showcase her remarkable ability to make a song her own.
The Queen of Jazz continued recording through the 60s, 70s and 80s, before her death in 1996.