She wasn't as harmonically edgy as Sarah Vaughan and didn't play piano like Carmen McRae, but Ella Fitzgerald's precise delivery, exquisite timing and gorgeous sound made her a premier interpreter of the American songbook. Whether it was Cole Porter or Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen or Hoagy Carmichael, Fitzgerald could take the original and transform it into something glorious without doing the type of experimenting that often made the likes of Irving Berlin complain about jazz treatments of his material. Nashville's Sandra Dudley certainly understands the Fitzgerald approach, and shes a perfect choice as headliner for the first event in the latest Jazz on the Move" performance/lecture series at the Frist. Dudley will both explain the qualities that made Fitzgerald so special and demonstrate them, showing why she's among Music City's top stylists in her own right. Here's the opportunity to hear standards being done by someone able to both appreciate and present them in a classic yet contemporary vein.
Sun., Feb. 14, 3 p.m., 2010