Publisher: Chappell (Warner Brothers)
CD: Mack The Knife: Ella In Berlin
1960 Verve Records, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Recording Date: February 13, 1960
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald, vocals; Paul Smith, piano; Jim Hall, guitar; Wilfred Middlebrooks, bass; Gus Johnson, Jr. drums
Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Type of Tune: bebop
Tempo: 170/300 BPM (beats per minute)
Form: ABAB prime
Devices: scats singing, dramatic tempo change
Scale(s): major; blues; pentatonic; derivatives of major and melodic minor; bebop
Developmental Techniques: sequence; quotes (Ornithology); several climaxes
Ella Fitzgerald is considered to be one the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. She was an excellent scat singer, which meant she was able to improvise (like a jazz instrumentalist) using nonsense syllables instead of words. After singing the first chorus, the tune suddenly becomes much faster and Ella improvises one chorus of lyrics then scat sings for several choruses. On her second scat chorus, Ella quotes Ornithology (a contrafact written by Charlie Parker over the chord changes of How High the Moon) practically verbatim, paying homage to Charlie Parker and displaying her knowledge of the bebop repertoire.