1964 Antibes Jazz Festival (part I)
With Ella Fitzgerald
Thank you for your understanding.
Ella Fitzgerald — Singer
Roy Eldridge — Trumpeter
Tommy Flanagan — Pianist
Bill Yancey — Double bassist
Gus Johnson — Drummer
In Juan-les-Pins, jazz, that most American of exports, was free to spread its wings. Established by Sidney Bechet upon falling in love with the region, the Antibes jazz festival was, for a time, a home-away-from-home for many of jazz' African-American icons. Here, in clubs and cafes as the sea breeze blew through, they discovered a French audience primed and ready for the freest and most daring jazz they could muster. Jean-Christophe Averty gifted posterity a glimpse into that transcendent environment through his recording of the festivals. This compilation series, shot in the early 1960s, preserves their heady art at one of jazz' most exciting moments, suspending them in glorious black and white footage.
The 1964 edition of the festival saw the return of the great Ella Fitzgerald to the French Riviera. She had been performing at festivals in the region since 1959, basking in the sunshine and sharing her much-loved music with a welcoming audience. She was joined by a quintet including Tommy Flanagan, the notorious pianist who played with Miles Davis and on John Coltrane's genius Giant Steps, as well as Roy Eldridge, a staple of the swing era on the trumpet. As for Ella ... the famous scat, the remarkable vocal range and the ingenius, seemingly intuitive phrasing proves her as one of history's best, as if we needed reminding.
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Thursday, February 29, 2024