Ann Hampton Callaway has a strong reputation as one of the top cabaret singers of the 1990's but, unlike most others in that idiom, she is also a talented jazz singer. Callaway, who has a beautiful voice with a wide range, always swings while giving strong emphasis to the lyrics she is interpreting. Her ambitious and successful Ella Fitzgerald tribute uses on some songs a string section recorded in Estonia, an American big band, a trio consisting of pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash and On "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me" and "How High The Moon" guest trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Although Callaway does not sound that much like Ella, she pays tribute to the First Lady of Song through her repertoire 14 superior standards, phrasing and joyful swing. Highpoints include "A Fine Romance," "But Not For Me," an emotional "Little Girl Blue" and a stomping rendition of "Lady Be Good." This is a highly recommended release that both serves as a memorial to Ella and as a strong introduction for jazz listeners to Ann Hampton Callaway.
Reviews"Jazz-cabaret chanteuse Ann Hampton Callaway pays tribute to the First Lady of Song in To Ella with Love, a 1996 recording rereleased in 1999 as a companion to her small-ensemble album, Easy Living. Here Callaway is supported by a full band anchored by pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Lewis Nash, while Wynton Marsalis sits in for two numbers. "How High the Moon" begins in a loping gait before catching fire and including the inevitable scat solo. While Callaway doesn't include any of her own songs among this collection of standards, it's one of her best albums." - David Horiuchi, Amazon.com editorial review