Southern Brooklyn

Puzzle: Ella & Ella


Stormy looking photos give me an excellent excuse to post a corresponding storm-related video. Behold, the fabulous Ella Fitzgerald singing “Stormy Weather” below, the perfect accompaniment to Ella the photographer’s photo up above of stormy weather:

Photo by Ella Rabinovich

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  1. With all due respect to the greatest jazz vocalist of all-time (Ella), the original “Stormy Weather” gal is Lena Horne:

    Pretty sure that’s the Cab Calloway band behind her, but not sure.

  2. Ella is definitely the greatest, but I think it’s more a personal opinion and matter of taste, since Lena had just as exquisite a voice, especially as she grew older. They were both magnificent. I only posted the Ella version because we’ve all seen and heard the Lena version before (in my case, probably hundreds of times before), so I thought I’d do something different for a change. There’s a Billie Holiday version as well. But if Lena’s what you’re into, try this sassy version on for size. Way more enjoyable than the somewhat homogenized-sounding version in the video above, I think. And yes, it was definitely Cab Calloway in the video too.

  3. That’s what I thought at first too, until I realized Bruce meant in the Lena video he posted in the comments. Cab Calloway is leading the band (conducting the orchestra?)

  4. Yeah, I meant my video, the conductor, it must be Cab Calloway….

    I miss the 52nd street jazz clubs of the 70’s, 80’s. I’m glad I got into that stuff in time to see some of the real legends perform in their final days

    Back in the 70’s, Seaside Park (or Asser Levy Park) had some great jazz legends playing there in the summer. My dad got into an argument with Lionel Hampton, but that’s another story for another time!

  5. Early recording of Ella singing with Chick Webb’s orchestra. Chick, one of the seminal drummers of the swing era, basically adopted teenaged Ella Fitzgerald. Upon his death, Ella took over managing the band.

    This recording is typical of 30’s swing in that the band goes through an entire verse of instrumental…then the key changes and the singer steps up to the microphone.


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