Impressions of Ella / Robin McKelle

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From country music to rhythm and blues, Robin McKelle has made an entire career exploring the rich vastness of American music. With Impressions of Ella, McKelle returns to her traditional jazz roots and finds herself right at home. McKelle wisely eschews Ella’s scatting and note-bending style in favor of thoughtful arrangements and keen musicianship that revivify these timeless standards.

“For me, “Impressions of Ella” feels like a homecoming of sorts. Like a family reunion after years of separation. A reconnection with the music that fueled my most formative musical years and it was Ella Fitzgerald that left quite an impression. I admired the effortless way she made herself a part of the band, even though she was the star. Her powerful voice and explosive scat to the most delicate tones had me hooked. I wanted to celebrate her and the style of her sound but in doing so, keeping my own individuality.

To help bring her concept to life, McKelle enlists a brand new trio of venerated jazz players: Kenny Washington on drums, bassist Peter Washington, and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano. “I wasn’t intimidated to make music with them, but [their] résumés were like, ‘Wow!’ [Am I] going to be good enough? Are we going to connect? The exciting thing was having the opportunity to sing over them as a trio; that was such a huge joy.” The bond between a vocalist and an accompanist is perhaps one of music’s most profound and extraordinary unions.

With Impressions of Ella, she doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel or limit her potential for creative expression. While it lauds our “First Lady of Song,” the album also marks an inevitable coming of age for McKelle’s career in jazz, as the fruits of her hard work and years of training finally ripen and bear fruit.



Product Description:


  • Release Date: June 02, 2023


  • Catalog Number: BLV8071


  • UPC: 3700187680718


  • Label: NAIVE


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: Jazz


  • Performer: Kenny Washington, Robin McKelle, Kenny Barron, Peter Washington



Works:


  1. Old Devil Moon

    Composer: Burton Lane, Yip Harburg

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  2. My One and Only

    Composer: Guy Wood, Robert Mellin

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  3. Lush Life

    Composer: Billy Strayhorn

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  4. How High The Moon

    Composer: Morgan Lewis, Nancy Hamilton

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  5. I Won't Dance

    Composer: Jerome Kern

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums), Kurt Elling (Vocals)


  6. Embraceable You

    Composer: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  7. Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me

    Composer: Duke ELlington, Bob Russell

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  8. Robbin's Nest

    Composer: Illinois Jacquet, Sir Charles Thompson

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  9. Taking A Chance On Love

    Composer: Vernon Duke, John La Touche, Ted Fetter

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  10. April In Paris

    Composer: Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)


  11. Soon

    Composer: George Gershwin

    Performer: Robin McKelle (Vocals), Kenny Barron (Piano), Peter Washington (Double Bass), Kenny Washington (Drums)