If love had a canvas, Ella Fitzgerald would be it

The Artistry of… Ella Fitzgerald

If love had a canvas, that canvas would be Ella. If colours were the sounds of music, they would sound like Ella and affect that canvas by bringing its plain unpainted beginnings to life. A perfectly unique synesthetic beauty. A gracing.

The enjoyment of music is in every picture, film clip, and video of the singer. She touched the listener’s soul. It was like an embrace. Every note could stand alone as an experience worth its own lifetime of artistry — but then they are audaciously strung together, and the consequence is staggering in its grandeur. It was as staggering as an Ella run through a cascade of notes, a ride on her phrasing — phrasing that was like no others. If it was in the world of sports, it would be the phrasing of a champion. In music, it was the phrasing of inspiration and awe.

She delivered with ease, as if she was just telling you something that happened to her, but that happening could truly only have happened to Ella when the story was told. Like a star blazing across the sky, the spectacular stardust trail is just part of the glamorous sensational event, and listening to Ella is an event. Star, plus stardust, she lit up the sky with her music. She lit up the stage. She lit up each note. If love had a canvas, that canvas would be Ella.



The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.


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