Monday, 7 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Five ... Your favourite female singer

I forgot I was doing the challenge yesterday. Oops. So I will do two today as penance.

As I don't tend to listen to female singers as much as I do male singers, there isn't really going to be much in the way of deliberation for me. And the female singers I do listen to are from an era much more glamorous than this one, where a cool female role model was elegant and bodacious, not dressed up in clothes made of meat and wearing a satellite dish in her hair. So there really is only one choice for me - Ella Fitzgerald.
Greater writers than I have waxed lyrical about her career, her amazing vocal range, her purity of tone, and her life. She had a hard time in her early years, seemed to be attracted to dubious men, and suffered from diabetes, which rendered her visually impaired in her later life. Although she was cool (not in a frosty sense) she never seems to me to be affected or false, and she was known for being extremely shy off stage. And any singer who can forgot the lyrics (my personal bete noire) yet improvise with such style and then win a grammy for the recording (her version of "Mack the knife" from "Ella in Berlin") has my automatic respect.
Oddly, I wouldn't say I am a great fan of jazz as a genre (although I do have quite a bit of similar stuff from similar artists), but Ella seemed to transcend genres even as she had her feet (or at least one of them) rooted in jazz. Of all her work, currently this track is my favourite. I say currently, as I really couldn't narrow it down to a favourite, I'll have to settle for the track I like best right now.

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