Latin Grammys 2018

This Is New

When Bridgewater feted Ella Fitzgerald on 1997's Dear Ella, there was little chance that the singer's hyper-dynamic persona would get lost in the magnitude of performing such storied material.

When Bridgewater feted Ella Fitzgerald on 1997's Dear Ella, there was little chance that the singer's hyper-dynamic persona would get lost in the magnitude of performing such storied material. Instead, Bridgewater paid loving tribute to Fitzgerald by adding her own dramatic flair to the songs, alternately playing the role of adoring fan and headstrong song stylist. Here, Bridgewater does the same with 11 lesser-known songs by composer Kurt Weill. From soothing Latin rhythms to muscular hard bop, each song is crafted in a setting that best allows Bridgewater to deliver Weill's dramatic lyrics, turning each piece into a vignette that is part theater, part pure artistic expression. In the hands of a lesser artist, this approach could become almost maudlin, but here, each song provides insight into Bridgewater's multifaceted approach to song interpretation.—SG