The iconic photo of Marilyn with Ella Fitzgerald at the Tiffany Club in 1954 graces the cover of a 10-disc CD boxset from the Document Records label, Milestones of Jazz Legends: Female Jazz Singers. Sadly, Marilyn’s own recordings aren’t included, but with twenty albums by the likes of Ella, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Abbey Lincoln and more, it’s great value and a perfect introduction to the elegant sound of a bygone era.
Thanks to A Passion For Marilyn
Helen Hancocks, author of the children’s book, Ella: Queen of Jazz, will appear at Cambridge International Jazz Festival on November 19, reports the Ely Standard.
“Ella Fitzgerald is celebrated in two affectionate tributes, Ella: Queen of Jazz on 19 November at Hotel Felix, with author/illustrator Helen Hancocks and award-winning vocal/piano duo, Miriam Ast & Victor Gutierrez. Featuring a selection of Ella’s famous songs, live illustration, plus a short reading and chat about Helen’s latest book and its themes. The inspiring, true story of how a remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe was born, and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity.”
Ella Fitzgerald, Marilyn’s friend and greatest musical influence, was born 100 years ago today. You can read my tribute here.
Either Way: From Marilyn to Ella is a new album from French jazz singer Anne Ducros. Inspired by Ella Fitzgerald’s story about how Marilyn lobbied for her to perform at the Mocambo Club, Los Angeles in 1954 (full story here), the album is a tribute to both women.
Either Way features covers of ‘You’d Be Surprised‘, ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy‘, ‘A Fine Romance’, ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’, ‘Through With Love’, and ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.’
You can see an interview with Anne here.
Hank Jones, the legendary jazz pianist who accompanied Marilyn’s birthday serenade to JFK in 1962, is the subject of a fourth annual tribute event, including an exhibition, concert and panel discussion on August 4th (coincidentally, the anniversary of Marilyn’s death) in his native Vicksburg, Mississippi, reports Seattle PI.
You can read my own tribute to Hank, written after his death in 2010, here. As reported on ES Updates recently, it has recently been suggested that Jones may also have been the ‘mystery man’ seated with Marilyn and designer Bill Travilla in a nightclub photo from 1952.