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



Oh! Lady Be Good

Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120716



  1. Oh! Lady Be good
  2. Itís Only a Paper Moon
  3. Flying Home
  4. I Didnít Mean a Word I Said
  5. Iím Just A Lucky So & So
  6. How High the Moon
  7. Basin Street Blues
  8. Someone to Watch Over Me
  9. My One & Only Love
  10. But Not For Me
  11. Looking for a Boy
  12. Iíve Got a Crush on You
  13. How Long has this Been going On?
  14. Maybe
  15. Soon
  16. Smooth sailing
  17. Rough Riding
  18. (If You Canít Sing It) Youíll Have to Swing It
  19. Air Mail Special


I have no doubt in my mind that Ella Fitzgerald was the greatest jazz vocalist of all time. Since she passed on, nobody has even come close to filling the void that she left in the jazz world and because the whole scene has changed, most probably they never will. Any talented jazz artist these days is seized on by the record companies and agencies and repackaged as a moneymaking machine for them. No vocalist seems to be content to be a star in the limited jazz field, commercial exploitation is king and it doesnít matter much whether you can sing, its what you look like thatís important!

This record gives us all of the best of Ella; scat singing second to none and more jazz feel than any vocalist I know. Great ballad singing, Someone to Watch Over Me as an example, beautifully sung and complete with verse. Tracks 8 to 15 have just Ellis Larkins on piano and Ella on vocals, but they sound complete and swing in the same way as they would if she were with a full rhythm section or a big band. Listen to Soon from this session a great tune immaculately sung. By contrast the story telling on track 18 is equally good, it is probably only Ella who could perform this song adequately. The last track with Ray Brownís Band and the Ray Charles Singers is another real swinger.

Another Ďmust haveí Ella Fitzgerald record.



Don Mather

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