*** Tommy Flanagan, "Lady Be Good . . . for Ella," Verve. The pianist, elegance personified, dedicates this 10-tune program to First Lady of Jazz Song Fitzgerald--for whom he served as accompanist, primarily from 1968 to 1978. There are no bumps on these performances, no bruises, just easygoing and lovely lines dropped in one after the other, the pianist supported craftily by bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. The title track is played oh-so-slowly in one version, then much faster in another; "Smooth Sailing" is a neat and tidy blues, while "Rough Ridin' " is a crackling romp through "I Got Rhythm" changes. Other nutritious tracks: "Love You Madly," "How High the Moon," "Pete Kelly's Blues."
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).