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Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

No legendary musician's catalogue is complete without at least one winter holiday album, and Ella Fitzgerald's 1960 Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas is not only one of the classiest, well produced holiday albums the jazz genres has ever seen - one could also make a strong argument for it being the most fun LP Ella released in her entire career.

The brilliant Frank DeVol provided arranging and conducting duties, surrounding Ella with soft horns, a glowing vibraphone, and even (on some tracks) a small vocal chorus that actually manages to add fun to the proceedings without getting in the way or sounding cheesy - an extremely rare feat in jazz and pop.

Police say a 12-year-old boy who had a loaded handgun in his backpack at his Moraine school has been taken into custody.

Sgt. Jon Spencer with the Moraine police tells the Dayton Daily News that officers were called to the Montgomery County Learning Center in Moraine around 8 a.m. Monday. Spencer says staff members were notified of the weapon and recovered it from the student. No injuries were reported.

It is unclear why the student brought the weapon to school.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

By the 1950s, Billie Holiday was known as a peerless blues singer among jazz musicians. However, in 1963, Ella Fitzgerald did something Billie never achieved - she recorded an entire album of only blues songs.

1963's These Are the Blues found a hard-swinging Ella in a mostly straightforward tilt at classic blues cuts, with a band led by Wild Bill Davis on organ and featuring Roy Eldridge on trumpet, Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Gus Johnson on drums.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

From 1962's Ella Swings Gently with Nelson, the second of two albums Ella Fitzgerald recorded that year with arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle, comes this sizzling rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's 1930 standard "Georgia On My Mind." The song was covered by many musicians through the 1960s after Ray Charles' timeless version went to the top of the charts in 1960, and Ella and Nelson's version may be among the very finest efforts.

The production on this album is stunning, with Riddle's orchestra sounding like 100 musicians playing in glorious unison. He charts a seductive, dynamic arrangement that goes from cinematic big band jazz to swaggering blues, with shouting horns and a perfectly in-the-pocket alto sax solo by Ronny Lang.

During Antioch College's 2017 Reunion, alumni visited the WYSO studios and shared their stories with current Antioch students and WYSO staff members.  This edition of the Antioch Word features Antioch alumna Dale Brown, Class of 1976, who spoke with WYSO's Juliet Fromholt. In this interview Dale talks about how finding out she had a disability gave her the determination to start an organization that is still very much thriving today and the importance of solidarity in the Antioch community.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

In 1962, Verve Records released Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's smash hit Jazz Samba album and set the world aflame, bringing the bossa nova out of Brazil and sending it around the world, claiming an Album of the Year Grammy for Getz's "Desafinado."

Recording companies and artists in every language began recording bossa tunes to ride the wave of popularity, and Verve attempted to cash in on the craze with many of its own in-house jazz musicians. Ella Fitzgerald fell instantly in love with the genre, and in that same year released a two-sided bossa single. Side A featured an English-language cover of "Desafinado," with a Brazilian-flavored take on the classic "Stardust" on the flipside.

John Scalzi is probably the best known writer who lives in our area. Here's a review of his latest book that I wrote for the Cox Ohio newspapers:

John Scalzi just published "Head On," the follow-up novel to his 2014 book "Lock In." Scalzi, who resides in the village of Bradford (OH) is full of surprises and this book contains several. The author has recounted how years ago he determined at random whether to write mysteries or science fiction. Science fiction won out. Even so this new book contains elements of a murder mystery.

The Wedding Singer pop-rock musical is based on the hit film of the same name. It takes audiences back in time when hair was big, greed was good, and collars were up. This is tonight and Saturday, at 2pm & 8pm, at The Victoria Theatre.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

One of the earliest entries in Ella Fitzgerald's nearly six-decade career is "All My Life," recorded with pianist and bandleader Teddy Wilson. The song was written by Sam H. Stept and Sidney Mitchell for a film called Laughing Irish Eyes, where it wass debuted by Phil Regan.

This outing, recorded in New York on St. Patrick's Day, 1936, is a fascinating look back at where jazz - at the time considered pop music - was in the 1930s and how far Ella's style came afterward. Heard through today's perspective, the standout here isn't Ella, it's a couple of the band members, and Ella gives what seems to be the standard, oddly intonated, high and somewhat nasal type of vocal that was the standard in the 1920s and through the late 1930s, as popularized by singers like Rudy Vallee.

Barstool Brown returned to the WYSO studios for a live set on Kaleidoscope.  The band talked with host Juliet Fromholt about recording the audio and video components of their second album, upcoming gigs, and more.

Barstool Brown will perform at Oscar's in Vandalia on June 1, on June 2 at Hannah's on Ludlow in downtown Dayton, and as part of the Earth Shook Festival in Hamilton on June 22. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/Barstoolbrownband/

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