Fitzgerald, Ella & Joe Pass - Sophisticated Lady

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Pablo
Catalog Number: PACD-5310-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:29:00

This review was previously published elsewhere.

They just don't make music like this anymore. Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, God rest their souls, were a match made in jazz heaven. Sophisticated Lady is a collection of previously unreleased remastered recordings from 1975 performances in Hamburg and 1983 in Tokyo. This 2001 release shows not only the importance of the two artists to our culture and musical history, it further magnifies their grand dominion as a place that all aspiring performers reach for. The absolute delight that people shared enjoying watching them perform together makes these live performances an enlivening event. Listening to this will put you in your own private seat at center stage with Ella and Joe.

Ella really was the sophisticated lady of jazz, and for over forty decades. Joe Pass was as equally classy, and the true to form professional guitar ace. Several times after a number Ella focuses the attention on Joe. I instinctively knew that the crowd was cheering for both of them even though Ella was trying to give Joe all the credit. In the first track she introduces Pass as the genius, which undoubtedly he was. One of the highlights of this recording is when Ella steps away and lets Pass perform a solo. The fluid and engaging "Cherokee" is more than five minutes of pure instrumental excellence. I could listen to him play like that for hours on end without even blinking. He was an incredible technician. Ms. Fitzgerald was one of the greatest voices from the American songbook. Her range and melody were one of kind. The two artists complimented each other with a rare perfection that made every song a special journey for all that listened.

The highlights for Lady Fitzgerald were "I'm Beginning To See The Light," "Take Love Easy," and "Satin Doll." You tend to forget just how beautiful her voice was at times because of the big bands she played with and the scat she was so famous for (don't worry, you will get your fill of her infamous scat). She could get so many octaves high without faltering, it's a wonder she didn't become an opera star.

I would be willing to bet there is a lot more of this unreleased material just waiting for our longing ears to consume. Don't be surprised if there are many more CDs like this to come from the vaults of Fantasy soon.

Ella Introduction Of Joe (0:25) / I'm Beginning To See The Light (3:12) / I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)/Sophisticated Lady ((6:48)) / One Note Samba (7:08) / Georgia On My Mind (4:47) / Gone With The Wind (3:14) / Bluesette (3:49) / Old Folks (5:04) / Wave (5:19) / Cherokee (5:34) / Take Love Easy (6:14) / Mood Indigo (2:29) / Satin Doll (3:26)

Ella Fitzgerald - vocals
Joe Pass - guitar

(Fitzgerald and Pass only)
Take Love Easy (1973)
Fitzgerald & Pass...Again (1976/2001)
Speak Love (1983)
Easy Living (1986)
Sophisticated Lady (2001)

Genre: Jazz/Trad. Jazz

Origin US

Added: December 15th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 1025
Language: english


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