Ad-Lib Blues – 1979

Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie

Ella shows that she really cannot be topped

At the 1979 Montreux Jazz Festival, Ella Fitzgerald (62 at the time) performed a set with her rhythm section and the Count Basie Orchestra.

For the final number, she introduced Basie who starts out a medium-tempo blues.

Ella then sings miraculously, trades off with tenor-saxophonist Eric Dixon and trombonist Booty Wood (the interplay is often humorous), and climaxes the piece by wailing over the big band.

No one could scat on Ella Fitzgerald’s level, and this exciting clip offers additional proof.

-Scott Yanow