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Chick Webb Orchestra: A-Tisket A-Tasket
Chick Webb and His Orchestra Featuring Ella Fitzgerald: “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” (Decca, 1938)

It’s still startling to hear the 21-year-old Ella Fitzgerald sing this song, which made her a megastar. Her voice is so sweet, so pure, and yet at the same time so vivacious and full of humor. The power of the orchestra backing her up is a reminder that Chick Webb not only had great talent for finding singers but was also a formidable bandleader. The success of “A-Tisket” unfortunately kept Ella in the novelty-song pigeonhole for a while, but that’s ancient history now and we can appreciate it for what it is: a grand debut by a grande dame. MAC RANDALL

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