Ella and Dizzy Revisited BBC Proms

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Ella and Dizzy Revisited

Tribute to jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, as singer Dianne Reeves and trumpeter James Morrison showcase some of the music most closely associated with them.

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Tonight we serve up music by two greats of the jazz world,


the 'First Lady of Song' Ella Fitzgerald and one


of the greatest ever jazz trumpeters - John Birks Gillespie ? I'm sure


you'll know him better as 'Dizzy' Gillespie.


This evening's Proms celebrates the centenary year


of the births of Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald,


two of the most ground-breaking and enduring Jazz greats.


Stepping into their shoes is not going to be easy,


but we have two of the biggest names in Jazz today to take up


the challenge - Grammy-winning American singer Dianne Reeves


and Australian multi-instrumentalist and trumpet virtuoso James Morrison.


They'll be joining the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted


Hello, and welcome. I am Yolanda Brown. I grew up listening to their


music and as a saxophonist, I've been massively influenced by both of


them. Alla's singing was like listening to a leading judgment


itself, her tone was so pure and her phrasing had a unique rhythm.


Dizzy's combination of styles was pioneering and his improvisation was


a rhythmic thrill. I love how he dared to be different and in doing


so, inspired and gave to so many. What cannot be denied is dizzy and


Ella's stellar careers changed the course of jazz history. They both


served their musical print ships in the late 30s and early 40s when big


band dominated in the United States. Dizzy would go on to carve a new


path for jazz, and be one of the first musicians to fuse Afro, Cuban,


and Brazilian rhythms with jazz. This would also mark a turning point


in the career of Ella Fitzgerald. She started including scat singing


as part of her repertoire. Along with her pure tone, it would become


her trademark sound, in a career lasting over 50 years and saw her


release over 200 albums. Paying tribute to these giants of


the jazz world tonight... On trumpet, internationally


acclaimed Australian virtuoso, James Morrison, who was mentored


by Dizzy Gillespie himself. And Dianne Reeves, who has been


described as "the most admired jazz diva since the heyday


of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald I have seen them both in rehearsals


earlier today, and they are spectacular.


Getting tonight's tribute to Dizzy and Ella underway,


music that conjures up the world of their youth growing up in the US,


Manhattan Rhapsody was a part of George Gershwin's first major


orchestral film score, written for the 1931 film 'Delicious'.


The film's New York location is the setting for his mini-sequel


Here is tonight's conductor, John Mauceri, with pianist,


Victor Sangiorgio, joining the BBC Concert Orchestra


for George Gershwin's 'Manhattan Rhapsody'.


Good evening, I'm John Mauceri and welcome to concert number 27 in the


2017 series of prompts. I've been asked to speak to you a little while


we are moving instruments around the stage. That was, as you probably


noticed, that was the UK premiere of a work done by George Gershwin for a


film called Delicious, written in 1931. It seems appropriate to have


George Gershwin begin the concert, which is a tribute to the Centenary


years of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, it was George Gershwin


who participated in an experiment in modern music in 1924 when Rhapsody


in Blue was first heard. The idea of the experiment was to see if it was


possible for jazz to be used in concert and clearly, the experiment


was a success as here we are in 2017 at a concert inspired by two jazz


legend. We have two soloists, one standing in for Ella and another


standing in for Dizzy. The woman who will be singing many songs as


tribute to Ella, who has known for 15 years, she has chosen a song from


George Gershwin and a film score, the film Damsel in Distress, the


last film George managed to complete before his untimely death in 1939,


that movie takes place in London so we are happy that this first song is


a tribute to this great city and the original script, the story came from


PG Woodhouse. The woman about to sing is a great friend of mine and


one of the great jazz singers of the world. When she was a teenager she


met Ella Fitzgerald and told me the story the other day that she went to


visit Ella in her dressing room, she was singing downstairs in the club


and Ella was so nice to her and the next night Ella had cancelled and


this young girl went up to Ella's dressing room and saw her shoes, put


on her shoes and sang that night. I can think of nobody more appropriate


to fill Ella Fitzgerald's shoes, so please welcome the great Dianne




APPLAUSE # What to do,


what to do, what to do? # and as I walked through


the foggy streets alone. # It turned out to be


the luckiest day I've known # I viewed the morning


with much alarm # The British museum


had lost its charm # How long, I wondered,


could this thing last? # But the age of


miracles hadn't passed #


This is such a wonderful place. # I'm excited.


# How long, I wondered, could this thing last?


# But the age of miracles hadn't passed


Dizzy Gillespie got his name because apparently he used to carry his


trumpet around in a brown paper bag and his fellow musicians just


thought he was dizzy. So it is not surprising someone stepped on the


trumpet which left it at a 45 degrees angle. All of you who know


dizzy got to see him perform, will have seen that strange trumpet. He


could play better than anyone so our soloist tonight is an epitome of


that. The song he has chosen is the one song by someone who is English


and that seemed to be appropriate. Ray Noble was a band leader,


composer, an actor and comedian. The movie you just heard the song from,


he appears in that as Reggie, the band leader in that very same movie.


In 1938, he wrote this song called Cherokee, which was for Native


Americans on whom he had encountered in Hollywood. His rendition of this


song was a kind of slow, four, four but the soloist will Dizzy-fy it.


He's welcome James Morrison. Thank you., thank you.


Thank you. Thank you. You know, that's how I


love to start a performance, just gently easing into it... Thank you,


and good night! We are just warming up. Growing up on the other side of


the world in Australia, so far from the real action, you know, that is


how it felt, all of the greats of jazz. My only way of hearing was on


vinyl, which was great. But I first heard Dizzy Gillespie at the age of


eight, not when he was eight, when I was eight! I could not believe that


the trumpet could do that. And I hoped, I wished, that one day I


would hear him live. Fast forward many years, imagine what it was like


when I finally not only heard him but I met him. We played and


recorded together. It was a dream come true. Just as it is tonight, a


dream come true to be here tonight paying tribute to this master, this


mentor, this legend of jazz. He was known for his virtuosity, he could


push the trumpet to the edge of the envelope and then some, but he could


not always do that. There was nothing more beautiful than


listening to him play a ballot and we are going to do that now with


felonious Monk's Round Midnight. This is so exciting! I mean, this


magnificent hall and this tradition, this rich and beautiful tradition


that you have every year, I might have two comeback for a little bit


more office. This. This is absolutely fantastic! I am so


delighted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the great Ella


Fitzgerald who was truly an architect of jazz singing. I


remember the very first time that I saw her, and how I felt so inspired


to continue with this music. She opened up so many possibilities and


she gave me courage to sing this beautiful music we call jazz,


America's classical music. She could sing anything, you could put


anything in front of her, from the great American song books, to the


popular, the musicians of the day in the pop world. She loved music at


any place in any time, and she sang with so much joy. We are going to do


a song from the Book of Gershwin, some of my favourite music that she


sang. It features my long-time friend, we have travelled the world


together, Mr Peter Martin on piano. embrace me, my sweet embraceable you


# Embrace me, you irreplaceable you


# Just one look at you, my heart grew tipsy and mean.


# You, and you alone, bring out the gypsy in May


# I love all the many charms about you


# Above all, I want my arms about you


# Don't be a naughty baby # Come to mama, come to mama do


# My sweet embraceable you # Embrace me my sweet


embraceable you # Just one look at you my


heart grew tipsy in me # You and you alone bring


out the gypsy in me # I love all the many


charms about you We started our concert with a


depiction of Manhattan by George Gershwin in 1931.


George Gershwin demonstrated you could use jazz to write a concerto,


to write an opera. And first Duke Ellington was a little suspicious


about this and later in his career he started writing long form or


Christian works. His real masterpiece of all those pieces,


which are really wonderful is a work called Harlem, which he wrote in


1954 the NBC see Symphony. It was an orchestra created by the greatest


musicians from the United States of America, they were the highest paid


musicians in the world and vacate daily-macro gave concerts and


broadcasts all over the world and on television. Ellington wrote a piece


for that orchestra called Harlem and it is a travelogue of that part of


Manhattan, which is a neighbourhood just north of the top of Central


Park. This trip, is a description of Harlem and it is extraordinary.


Ellington wrote about the 20 bits of Harlem. You will know if you are in


Spanish Harlem, if you are in a club where the girls are offbeat but


kicking widely. You know you are in a church because there are more


churches in Harlem than there are cabarets and clubs. There is a


funeral, there is a civil rights demonstration. This is 1950. Then at


the climax of this extraordinary piece, there is a triple credenza. A


moment where three percussion elements have an improvisation.


First Marnie up there with the timpani. Marnie will play and then


Patrick from Australia. APPLAUSE


Playing the kit and then Alistair and his group, where will you be,


Alistair? Stand up so people can see where you are. Why this is so


important is because Ellington, in this one moment before the end, he


takes the Symphony Orchestra represented by the timpani, the big


band represented by Patrick and then the Africans coming, represented by


the African drums. It is all in one theme and this great moment is the


moment where Ellington talks about music and the world we live in. The


other thing, it is a series of variations on the name Harlem.


Harlem is just two syllables and there couldn't be anything harder


than write a series of variations on the cheering that is two notes. Less


than two notes is just one note about isn't a tune. So he just has


Harlem. That is tough. Alexander Hamilton had the most musical note


in the world. The entire piece is based on that. When we start,


Patrick will play something on the symbols and the jazz trumpet plays


Harlem, we play accord. The Jazz trumpet player plays Harlem again


and then the whole world opens up in this great part of Manhattan. From


1950, Duke Ellington's masterpiece, Harlem.


John Mauceri and the BBC Concert Orchestra with


taking all of us here at the Royal Albert Hall on a tour of the area.


What a sensational first half! Still so much to see in just a few


minutes. First though a chance to catch up


with the stars of the show ? we caught up with Dianne Reeves


and James Morrison at rehearsals to find out why they think Dizzy


and Ella are so special. If you are walking in on jazz


pianists, there is likely to be a card game going on, and I was


allegedly arrested because of it -- Ella. To celebrate them is like...


Ooh, I wish I could have been back in that time. In celebrating Ella


Fitzgerald, you have to know that there was only one Ella Fitzgerald.


# With an irreplaceable heart such as yours... #


She was quiet, and shy. Then, on stage, she was a lion. When she


opened her mouth, she roared. When I first heard Dizzy, I went... The


trumpet can do that?! He is the very definition of jazz. He created a


party wherever he went. Then, when you are onstage yourself, you want


to do same thing. Dizzy, of course, was an innovator. He came out of the


swing era, but was then one of the fathers of the beatbox. It was fast,


up-tempo music with fiery changes, and Ella was really the one singer


who could sing in that style. Dianne is doing wonderful hits of Ella, and


we are choosing songs he either wrote was famous for recording and


playing. But, she is so good at scat too, as was Ella. Although I am


playing that kind of trumpet, we are going back into the swing era too,


so we meet. The thing about jazz musicians, the music they play is a


very special language. So, I am excited to have this musical


conversation. Our conversational beat is different to Ella's and


Dizzy's but it will be just as exciting. Playing jazz along with an


orchestra really requires a meeting of two worlds and the way and


orchestra thinks about it and field is different to jazz musicians. 37,


one, two, three, four... Of course, you cannot change the arrangement in


a moment 's notice, like you can with a small group... But, there is


this big a kind of magic which happens.


Then, Dianne and I stand at the front and have the fun! It's the


greatest music festival in the world and we are celebrating the greatest


jazz singer ever, so it makes sense to me. But to be celebrating Dizzy's


Centenary as well? It's a double whammy.


Welcome back conductor John Mauceri and the BBC Concert Orchestra.


So looking forward to the second half. It is like being transported


to a jazz club. That was Jungle Drums by the


composer known as the Cuban Gershwin. He first brought African


music to America because he was hired by MGM. Part of the thing


about Afro-Cuban music, it is complicated rhythms. We will


continue the concert with the standard by George and Ira Gershwin,


was a two and four and it is over five, eight, over four, four. If you


think that is complicated, it is. Let's welcome back on the stage,


James and Dianne. # Got a little rhythm,


a rhythm, a rhythm # Why I'm always shaking


# Just like a fliver # Each morning I get up


with the sun # To find at night


no work has been done # Once


it didn't matter # Oh, how


I long to be the girl I used to be # Fascinating rhythm


# I'm all a quiver # Why I'm always shaking


# Just like a fliver # Each morning I get up


with the sun # To find at night


no work has been done # Once


it didn't matter # Oh, how I long to be


the girl I used to be Miss Dianne Reeves.


APPLAUSE I hope that you can tell we are


having fun. It is such a joy to work with her, as it is such a joy to


work with this fabulous orchestra. The BBC concert Orchestra.


APPLAUSE Thank you, Maestro. We are not only


joined by myself and Dianne, I should introduce these blokes.


Harry, this is party. That is a direct Dizzy Gillespie quote, you


did that in every gig. I would like to welcome on the guitar, William


Morrison. On the drums, Patrick. And on the base, Harry Morrison.


Quickly, I have to say, could they be related? Surely not? Closer look.


Harry is my younger son. He is 19. It is true. He is here so you can


see what I look like when I was 19. William is here so you can see what


I looked like when I was 21. The hair has already gone. You've got


two years. We are going to do a piece now that is yet another, one


of the most amazing things about Dizzy. Not only did he innovate, but


he started drawing in music from around the world to become part of


jazz. When he travelled to South America and Cuba, things like this


happen. This next song is a song that I


wrote but it has no lyrics. It is dedicated... Can you believe I came


out here in my glasses? That shows you, I can't see when I am back


there! That is my little secret, now you know that I'm blind! But


anyway... I can feel you! CHEERING


APPLAUSE And I wrote it this way, I wrote the


song this way because it is dedicated to all of the great


vocalists I have listened to over the years, who sing in languages I


do not understand. When I play them in my house, I try


to sing along but I would never want them to hear what I am saying... But


when I sing this song, I feel like them and also I dedicate this to


Ella. Every time she opened her mouth and improvised, she told a


beautiful story, so maybe you will understand what I am saying...


I didn't even dream about this and this is a dream come truth.


Fantastic. # Have you ever heard


two turtle doves # Music we make with


our lips when we kiss # If you should tell me


farewell and goodbye Dianne Reeves and James Morrison


with a fantastic rendition of George Shearing's standard


'Lullaby of Birdland' ? his nod to New York's leading


Jazz club in the 50's. his nod to New York's leading


Jazz club in the 50s. The BBC Concert Orchestra


conducted by John Mauceri. Dianne Reeves, James Morrison,


BBC Concert Orchestra. The Royal Albert Hall cannot get


enough. A raucous applause here at The Royal Albert Hall. Here they


come again. They want more. A raucous applause, nobody is going


home. Everybody wants to continue to celebrate. The BBC concert Orchestra


staying on the stage, waiting for them to come out. What will Dianne


Reeves and James Morrison have in store for us?


# It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing


# It don't mean a thing, all you got to do is sing


# It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or it's hot


# Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got


# Oh, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing


# It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or it's hot


# Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got


# Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah#


Fabulous. The Royal Albert in and singing along. I couldn't sit still.


Wondrous applause, fantastic tribute tonight. As they take their powers.


-- bowels. It has been a fantastic evening at


The Royal Albert Hall. A standing tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy


Gillespie. Katie Derham and her guests will be discussing this


performance tomorrow at 615 on BBC Two. From all others here at The


Royal Albert good night.


A special Proms tribute to jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, in the centenary year of their births. Grammy Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves and sensational trumpeter James Morrison perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra under the baton of Hollywood music legend John Mauceri, as they showcase some of the music most closely associated with Ella and Dizzy.