Performer: Ella Fitzgerald
Artist: Ellis Larkins; Ray Brown; Tommy Flanagan; Jim Hall; Coleman Hawkins; Oscar Peterson; Buddy Rich; Louis Armstrong; Stan Getz
Engineer: Erick Labson...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: 2 LPs on 1 CD. Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Ellis Larkin (piano). Producer: Milt Gabler. Reissue producer: Orrin Keepnews. Recorded in New York City, New York on September 11-12, 1950 and March 29-30, 1954. Includes liner notes by James Gavin. Tracks 1-8 were originally released as ELLA SINGS GERSHWIN on Decca (5300). Tracks 9-20 were originally released as SONGS IN A MELLOW MOOD on Decca (8068). Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Music Media Studios). This is part of Decca's Legendary Masters Of Jazz series. Personnel includes: Ella Fitzerald (vocals); Paul Weston, Nelson Riddle, Buddy Bregman, Russell Garcia, Billy May (conductor); Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Flip Phillips, Lester Young, Plas Johnson (tenor saxophone); Harry "Sweets" Edison, Louis Armstrong, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Paul Smith, Lou Levy, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan, Count Basie (piano); Jim Hall, Herb Ellis (guitar); Wilfred Middlebrooks, Ray Brown, Kelter Betts (bass); Gus Johnson, Buddy Rich, Jo Jones, Connie Kay (drums). Recorded between 1956 and 1965. Includes liner notes by Will Friedwald. Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Ellis Larkins (piano). Audio Remasterer: Erick Labson. Liner Note Author: James Gavin. Recording information: 09/12/1950-03/30/1954. This outstanding 20-track anthology gives those who didn't get any of the various Fitzgerald reissues a chance to hear what all the furor was about. This disc combines the classy Ella Sings Gershwin album with eight other standards. There's very sparse support, much of it coming from stately pianist Ellis Larkins, long a favorite of vocalists everywhere for his ability to support without intruding. Otherwise, it's Fitzgerald's sublime voice, interpreting and dissecting sentiments, themes, and moods with the touch of a master. She never oversings, rushes, or fails to get everything from a tune. Besides great diction and technique, she's also simply a marvelous vocalist. There are no straining, unnecessary inflections, grunts or moans, but she also doesn't coast or hold back during her performances. ~ Ron Wynn
Through unparalleled ability and judicious choice of repertoire, Ella Fitzgerald became the foremost female interpreter of the 20th-century Great American Popular Song Book. With producer Norman Granz she worked on the "songbook" series, placing on record definitive performances of the work of America's leading songwriters. Fitzgerald had a wide vocal range, but her voice retained a youthful, light vibrancy throughout the greater part of her career, bringing a fresh and appealing quality to most of her material, especially her scat singing. While there are still numerous excellent artists whose work has been strongly influenced by Fitzgerald, the social and artistic conditions that helped to create America's First Lady of Song no longer exist, and it seems highly unlikely that we shall ever see or hear her like again.
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