ELLA FITZGERALD by Carolyn Wyman


Jazz Singer Supreme
Age Range: 12 & up
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 From her amateur debut at 16 (or possibly 14), Ella Fitzgerald has shown an ability to adapt to changes in fortune and musical taste, keeping her at or near the top of her profession for more than half a century. While this biography doesn't significantly update Kliment's (1988), it does draw on a wider range of sources, including previously unpublished material, and brings the singer's discography up to 1990's All That Jazz. Wyman also does a fine job of placing Fitzgerald in context, with a clear picture of the history of jazz in the 20's and 30's and the prejudicial treatment African-American artists received--at least until promoter Norman Grantz's insistence on integrated seating for his ongoing ``Jazz at the Philharmonic'' tours began to break down some barriers. Fitzgerald has always kept her private life to herself, but this respectful account of her career gives a good sense of her personality and singing style, as well as her place in American musical history. Source notes; discography; bibliography; index. (Biography. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-13031-2
Page count: 128pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993