In the series ii-V-I: A JassOdyssey, author J.A. Rollins chronicles the journey of Miles and his Uncle Roland as they travel through time and space to recoup something that was stolen from them. Between book one and two he mentions over 500 jazz musicians, some who are alive, as well as some who have passed on. The rest of the book series will mention many, many more. Over the next few years this blog will highlight those artist mentioned in the series, as well as others that will be cited.
Last year pop singer Pharrell Williams got over 500,000,000 views on You Tube as he sang his musical smash hit “Happy.” Happiness is a common theme found not only in pop music, but also in other forms of music. On this day in 1959, jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald recorded an album called “Get Happy.” The album featured classics like “St. Louis Blues,” along with “Blue Skies,” and as a bonus track issued on the Verve 1998 CD re-issue, it featured “A Ticket, A-Tasket,” named after a popular children’s nursery rhyme. Ella, along with Al Feldman extended and embellished the nursery rhyme and the song became an instant smash hit with the Chick Webb Orchestra in 1938. Since then it has become a jazz standard. She later co-wrote a follow up song with Chick Webb called “I Found My Yellow Basket.” Ella was featured singing the song in the 1942 film “Ride ‘Em Cowboy, which starred the comedy team Abbott and Costello. Because we’re happy that the song as well as the album were successful, we are making it the “Jazz Album of the Day.” Enjoy your ride along the JassOdyssey.