MP3 Ethel Ennis - Ennis Anyone? Ethel Ennis, Live at Montpelier
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (65:08) !
Related styles: Jazz: Bebop, Jazz: Jazz Vocals, Solo Female Artist
People who are interested in Ella Fitzgerald Sarah Vaughn Stef Scaggiari should consider this download.
Ethel Ennis is a force of nature. The purity of her voice is a phenomenon of biology and physics. Her compositions, perfect in meter, tone and melody are like mathematical formulae, yet her performances are philosophical, emotional, even spiritual. Although her lyrics and her in-concert song introductions deal with the most critical issues of life including death and aging, she overwhelms the issues with wit and wisdom. Because of her remarkable ability as a comic actress, she forces the audience to consider these difficult issues while they roar with laughter.
Along with Buck Hill, Keter Betts, and Charlie Byrd, Ethel Ennis was instrumental in building the reputation of the Montpelier Jazz Series by performing here at least once per year since 1988. The Montpelier Arts Center and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission are eternally grateful. I am grateful that once a year she asks the question-âAre you doing what you want to do?â It certainly helps me take time to reflect on my choices and to focus on what is important in my life. One thing is sure: no reflection is needed to consider the question if one narrows it to the moment it is asked: âAre you doing what you want to do right now (listening to Ethel)?â I and the entire audience would answer with a resounding âYes!â
Baltimore native Ethel Ennis is a national treasure. Critics have hailed her as âthe most accomplished jazz singer performing today.â That stature was earned by her magnificent voice, her brilliant compositions, her joyful performances and her collaborations with the finest musicians.
No other living singer possesses her credentials. Ethel Ennis first won national recognition for her recording âLullaby for Losersâ in 1955. She won international acclaim in 1958 when she was selected by Benny Goodman as the female vocalist for his all-star band which toured Western Europe. Later, she was chosen as a featured singer on the Arthur Godfrey Show where she worked for eight years. After performing at the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival (backed by Billy Taylor, Cozy Cole and Slam Stewart), she appeared with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra on televisionâs âBell Telephone Hour.â She followed those amazing achievements by wowing them at the Monterey Jazz Festival in duets with Joe Williams. She returned to her hometown to perform in concerts with the Count Basie Band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. During that same period she shared the bill with Cab Calloway at Harlemâs Apollo Theater and played supper clubs and concert halls all over the country including appearing in Las Vegas.
In the 1970âs, she continued to perform in great music venues including the Persian Room at New Yorkâs Plaza Hotel. She founded the practice of singing the National Anthem a capella at Richard Nixonâs 1973 presidential inauguration. She also performed at the White House for both the Nixon and Carter Administrations. Acting as Baltimoreâs official cultural ambassador, she not only presented American Jazz, but also sang Chinese folk songs at the International Music Festival in Xiamen, China. Through the Sister Cities program, Ethel represented Baltimore by performing in Rotterdam several times. In the 1980âs Ethel ran Ethelâs Place, an internationally known music club, with her husband, writer Earl Arnett. They presented the worldâs greatest jazz musicians broadcast live concerts to national audiences. After selling the club in 1988, the couple returned to music and writing full-time.
Ethel Ennis continues to perform all over the world including trips to Turkey for the Ankara Music Festival, and to the US Embassy in Bonn, Germany for a farewell gift concert to the city before the Embassy moved to Berlin (1999). Ennis has recorded more than a dozen major albums and a dozen singles for the major labels: Capitol, Atlantic, RCA, and BASF) as well as several under her own label.
In addition to her collaborations with the jazz greats of the past (e.g., Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Joe Williams, Louis Armstrong, Gerry Mulligan, Stephane Grappelli, Ray Brown, and Milt Jackson), she continues to work with todayâs jazz icons (e.g., Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Phil Woods, and Keter Betts). The late Ella Fitzgerald praised Ethel as her favorite; Billie Holiday personally encouraged her; Frank Sinatra described Ethel as âmy kind of singer,â and Joe Williams called her âlittle sister.â A Chicago Sun-Times critic raved about her ââ¦smoldering jazz contralto with phrasing that leaps, lifts and melts into a lovely dying fallâ¦âA Downbeat reviewer said it best, âher voice runs deep, exuding the personality of a sage who has lived many lives.â Learn more about Ethel by reading her biography, Ethel Ennis, the Reluctant Jazz Star by Sallie Kravetz (Gateway Press, 1984).
Stefan Scaggiari, Piano
The Baltimore Sun called Stefan Scaggiari âA pianist who can swing from Mozart to Monk and back again.â Scaggiari thrives on this diversity. Stefâs music is heard by millions every week on National Public Radio, his recordings are sold in over 17 countries and he appears in major halls and festivals throughout the world. Because of his very rare talent to perform both jazz and classical repertoires with such amazing command and ease, Mr. Scaggiari often presents crossover classical/jazz concerts with his trio, in solo recitals or with symphony orchestras. Scaggiari has deep roots in both traditions. He is a graduate of Eastman School, and holds a Masters degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, studying with Eugene List, Earl Wild, and Leon Fleisher. Stef âstudiedâ jazz by performing and traveling with jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Keter Betts, and Mel Torme.
Highlights of Mr. Scaggiariâs career include performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Concord Fujitsu Festival Tour of Japan. He has appeared recently as soloist and arranger with the Saluzzo Festival Orchestra in Saluzzo, Italy. Stef has composed music for ABC Sports and his music is heard every Sunday on National Public Radioâs Weekend Edition.
Mark Russell, Bass
Mark Russell of Baltimore, MD, is a bassist who infuses enormous energy into his performances. Thanks to his rich and varied experiences including everything from working with Spike Lee, to playing in Bob Fosseâs Dancinâ, and A Chorus Line, Mark Russell has become a very versatile, multi-talented musician. In addition to Ethel Ennis, other artists with whom he has worked include Melba Moore, Cab Calloway, Lloyd Price, flutist Dave Valentine, Cissy Houston (âSweet Inspirationsâ & âWhitneyâs Momâ), Della Reese, Eugene Wilde (âOoh Baby,â âGotta Get You Home with Me Tonightâ), Alexander OâNeal (âIf You Were Here Tonightâ, âFakeâ), drummer Bernard Purdie, trumpeter Ted Curson, and Ozzie Davis & Ruby Dee. Russell is a member of Cabo Frio. He engineered and played bass on Cabo Frioâs latest release âLate Return.â
Ryan Diehl, Drums
Ryan Diehl was a jazz performance major at Towson State University, in Towson, Maryland where he studied with Mark Levy, Dennis Chambers, Adam Nussbaum, John Riley, and Bob Wyatt. In his professional career, he has played with the Bob Butta Trio, Carl Filipak, Moon August, Ruby Glover, The Heat and the Cold Sweat, the Richard Bray Big Band, Jarflys, Meg Murray, Angie Miller, and of course, Ethel Ennis. He is the featured singer in his own group, the Ryan Diehl Trio. Ryan has played in Europe and Asia and has been included in numerous recordings by many of the groups with which he performs (e.g., Moon August, Fish Belly Black). Mr. Diehl teaches at the Childrenâs Guild, the Timbremont Music Camp, and Maryland Area High Schools.
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