Joe Williams Blues – Mid-1960s

March 21, 1925 – June 13, 2003

Ella spontaneously jamming

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Ella Fitzgerald was on her own level as a singer and few (past, present or future) could ever touch her talents.

On this European television broadcast from the mid-1960s, Ella simply goes on stage with her quartet and launches into an uptempo blues.

It is titled “Joe Williams Blues” since she utilizes some of the lyrics that Williams sang while with Count Basie, but she gives the tune her own spin.

Looking so effortless, Ella sings the lines, adds riffs and her own phrasing, quotes a couple of songs, mentions Dinah Washington, and scats up a storm as if it was the most natural thing to do, amazing anyone who was lucky enough to hear her.

-Scott Yanow


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