Night Lights Classic Jazz

Chick Webb And Ella Fitzgerald Mosaic Set On The Way

A hard-swinging big band paired with a jazz legend in the making.

Ella Fitzgerald

Photo: William Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Ella Fitzgerald in 1946, several years after the Chick Webb orchestra had disbanded.

News on the Mosaic Records front: a box-set featuring drummer Chick Webb and singer Ella Fitzgerald is in the works. The Complete Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald Decca Recordings 1929-1941 will include all of the Decca recordings that Webb made as a bandleader, both with and without Fitzgerald, before his death in 1939, and all of the recordings that Fitzgerald made with Decca after she took over leadership of the Webb band, including small-group dates done with Webb sidemen through the end of 1941. A Fitzgerald session with the Mills Brothers that falls within this chronology will also be a part of the set. The set will contain 7 CDs, with a booklet written by jazz critic John McDonough.

It is unlikely that the set will include any previously-unreleased master takes, though two or three alternate takes may surface. Andreas Meyer will do the remastering.

The forthcoming Sam Rivers, Jimmie Lunceford, and Charles Tolliver sets will be out early next month.

The previously-mentioned Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 will be available in time for Christmas this year.

Listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb’s orchestra live at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem:

David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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