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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Ella Fitzgerald


VERVE CD Set 5896472



  1. Letís fall in Love
  2. Evíry Time We Say Goodbye
  3. Summertime
  4. A Fine Romance
  5. The Very Thought of You
  6. Mack The Knife
  7. Letís Do It (Letís Fall in Love)
  8. Cheek to Cheek
  9. The Lady is a Tramp
  10. Get Happy
  11. I Get a Kick Out of You
  12. Misty
  13. Embraceable You
  14. I Love Paris
  15. I Canít Give You Anything but Love
  16. Georgia on My Mind
  17. But Not for Me
  18. Blue Skies
  19. Someone to Watch Over Me


  1. Manhattan
  2. SíWonderful
  3. They Canít Take That Away From Me
  4. Iíve Got you Under my Skin
  5. Stormy Weather
  6. My Funny Valentine
  7. Bewitched
  8. These Foolish Things
  9. With A Song in My Heart
  10. Thereís a Small Hotel
  11. Night and Day
  12. Letís Face the Music and Dance
  13. Puttiní On the Ritz
  14. Blue Room
  15. Isnít This A Lovely Day
  16. Love is Here to Stay
  17. I Only have Eyes for You
  18. The Man I Love
  19. Tenderly
  20. I Could Write a Book

For me nothing could be more delightful than a couple hours of listening to Ella sing and for all her many fans this record is a must. It is of course a compilation album featuring her in various settings, from piano duets, to singing with a big band sometimes including strings. Not any band either; these are the very top US studio musicians with arrangements and musical direction out of the top draw.

The recordings were made in the period 1956 to 62, Ella was in her 40ís at that time and in excellent voice, but then she always was. Right up to a few years before her death in 1996, Ella was always in good form. Her voice has a unique quality that makes her instantly identifiable, she also had a unique delivery style that made her live performances even more exhilarating.

It is a pity that record companies when making compilations of what, in this case, are the definitive performances of many of these songs give the listener no useful information on the sleeve note. OK at about £15 for a double album itís great value, but would it have reduced the profit dramatically to say which albums each item comes from. Who knows the purchaser may buy that one as well!

These songs are timeless and I feel sure that many of them are going to be around for a long time in the future. The composer credits of Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, The Gershwin Brothers, Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers and others are enough for me! Most of the tunes have already survived for 50 years or more and become what the jazz world calls Ďstandardsí.

Even if you already own the original albums, it is nice to hear this new mix of Ella at her very best, singing and swinging with the best musicians of the jazz and studio world.

Don Mather



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