We All Love Ella (Verve Records)
By Adam Green
Published in Blues and Soul July 8th 2007
Pitched as an ‘all-star vocal tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’, this album is a smug, self-congratulatory and kitsch attempt to honour the First Lady of Song. The opulent orchestration, plodding arrangements, and contrived vocal performances make for a facile, clichéd, middle-class and middle-of-the-road flop.
The singers are billed as some kind of dream team, but wouldn’t make the substitutes bench of a decent Vocalist’s XI. Despite his best efforts Michael Bublé remains charmless, k.d. lang, couldn’t swing if lesbianism depended on it, and Lizz Wright has the charisma of a shoebox. Positives? Etta James has some grit to her voice, and Ledisi’s performance on Blues in the Night has some vim. The best performance is probably that of Nikki Yanovsky, who sounds full of life, love and invention. Safe to say she sticks out like a sore thumb.
We All Love Ella is a spiritless, commercial affair and the kind of album you imagine David Cameron listening to, and liking.