Early Ella: 1935-1940

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
No one can accuse Ella Fitzgerald of having a short career; the singer was only 18 when she started recording in 1935, and she was 69 when she recorded her final album, All That Jazz, in 1989. Early Ella: 1935-1940 takes us back to the dawn of Fitzgerald's recording career -- a time when she still had some growing and developing to do and her singing was still a bit nasal. It wasn't until the mid-'40s that she really blossomed as a vocalist. Nonetheless, Fitzgerald was quite popular during the Swing Era, and these pre-bebop recordings (many of them with Chick Webb's big band) demonstrate that her early work could be enjoyably charming. Assembled for Allegro's Jazz ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
No one can accuse Ella Fitzgerald of having a short career; the singer was only 18 when she started recording in 1935, and she was 69 when she recorded her final album, All That Jazz, in 1989. Early Ella: 1935-1940 takes us back to the dawn of Fitzgerald's recording career -- a time when she still had some growing and developing to do and her singing was still a bit nasal. It wasn't until the mid-'40s that she really blossomed as a vocalist. Nonetheless, Fitzgerald was quite popular during the Swing Era, and these pre-bebop recordings (many of them with Chick Webb's big band) demonstrate that her early work could be enjoyably charming. Assembled for Allegro's Jazz Legends series in 2003, Early Ella is a big improvement over the jazz collections that Allegro released on the low-budget Columbia River label -- some of which were plagued by a total absence of recording dates and personnel. But that isn't a problem on Early Ella, and the person who can take much of the credit for that is jazz critic Scott Yanow. Allegro has used Yanow as a consultant on the Jazz Legends series; in addition to writing the CD's liner notes, Yanow picked the 21 tracks, and his choices are good ones. Performances of "Stairway to the Stars," "My Melancholy Baby" and other standards paint an attractive, if imperfect, picture of Fitzgerald's formative years. Yanow usually avoids novelty songs -- that is, unless it's something historically important like the 1938 hit "A Tisket, A-Tasket." Early Ella isn't for those who have only a casual interest in Fitzgerald's legacy; again, she had yet to reach her creative peak when these 1935-1940 recordings were made. But the singer's more seasoned fans will find this CD to be a likable overview of her early output.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/4/2003
  • Label: JAZZ LEGENDS
  • UPC: 723724522121
  • Catalog Number: 2001

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I'll Chase the Blues Away - Chick Webb (2:35)
  2. 2 My Melancholy Baby - Teddy Wilson (3:00)
  3. 3 All My Life - Teddy Wilson (3:13)
  4. 4 When I Get Low I Get High - Chick Webb (2:24)
  5. 5 Sing Me a Swing Song (And Let Me Dance) - Chick Webb (2:35)
  6. 6 You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini) - Chick Webb (2:53)
  7. 7 My Last Affair - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Savoy Eight (2:43)
  8. 8 I Want to Be Happy - Chick Webb (4:27)
  9. 9 If Dreams Come True - Chick Webb (2:38)
  10. 10 I Was Doing All Right - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Savoy Eight (2:53)
  11. 11 A-Tisket, A-Tasket - Chick Webb (2:38)
  12. 12 Undecided - Chick Webb (3:16)
  13. 13 'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) - Chick Webb (3:03)
  14. 14 Don't Worry 'Bout Me - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Savoy Eight (3:12)
  15. 15 Stairway to the Stars - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (3:17)
  16. 16 Out of Nowhere - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (2:59)
  17. 17 My Last Goodbye - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (3:22)
  18. 18 Moon Ray - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (3:04)
  19. 19 Sugar Blues - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (2:51)
  20. 20 Baby, Won't You Please Come Home - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (2:34)
  21. 21 Imagination - Ella Fitzgerald & Her Famous Orchestra (3:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ella Fitzgerald Primary Artist, Vocals
John Kirby Bass, Tuba
Teddy Wilson Piano
Eddie Barefield Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Cozy Cole Drums
Taft Jordan Trumpet
Benny Morton Trombone
Frankie Newton Trumpet
Edgar Sampson Alto Saxophone
Chick Webb Drums
Mario Bauzá Trumpet
Bill Beason Drums
Jerry Blake Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Garvin Bushell Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Wayman Carver Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Pete Clark Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Tommy Fulford Piano
John Haughton Trombone
Hilton Jefferson Alto Saxophone
Claude Jones Trombone
George Matthews Trombone
Beverly Peer Bass
Roger "Ram" Ramirez Piano
Irving "Mouse" Randolph Trumpet
Sam Simmons Tenor Saxophone
Lennie Stanfield Bass
Joe Steele Piano
Nat Story Trombone
John Trueheart Banjo, Guitar
Dick Vance Trumpet
Elmer "Skippy" Williams Tenor Saxophone
Sandy Williams Trombone
Bobby Stark Trumpet
Chauncey Houghton Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Bobby Johnson Guitar
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Ella Fitzgerald Composer
Benny Goodman Composer
Artie Shaw Composer
Charlie Shavers Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Sy Oliver Composer
Edgar Sampson Composer
Vincent Youmans Composer
Van Alexander Composer
Trummy Young Composer
Stanley Adams Composer
Rube Bloom Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
Irving Caesar Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Johnny Green Composer
Edward Heyman Composer
Eddy Howard Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Frank Signorelli Composer
Sam H. Stept Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Kenneth Harrison Composer
Matty Malneck Composer
Sam Coslow Composer
Ted Koehler Composer
Ernie Burnett Composer
Sidney Mitchell Composer
George Norton Composer
Sydney Robin Composer
Paul Madison Composer
Marion Sunshine Composer
Lucy Fletcher Composer
Charles Warfield Composer
Artie Quenzer Composer
Haven Johnson Composer
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