Something to Live For

Something to Live For

by Ella Fitzgerald

The most effective way of taking in the full impact of Ella Fitzgerald's exquisite artistry may be to hear her in unadorned surroundings. On "But Not For Me," "Misty," and "Angel Eyes" -- three highlights, among many, on this double-disc companion to an upcoming PBS salute to Fitzgerald -- Ella is accompanied by piano on the first two selections, a single guitar on…  See more details below


The most effective way of taking in the full impact of Ella Fitzgerald's exquisite artistry may be to hear her in unadorned surroundings. On "But Not For Me," "Misty," and "Angel Eyes" -- three highlights, among many, on this double-disc companion to an upcoming PBS salute to Fitzgerald -- Ella is accompanied by piano on the first two selections, a single guitar on the latter. The gorgeous tonal quality of Fitzgerald's voice, her subtle, satisfying improvisations, her supple rhythmic sense, and her unaffected way with a lyric are all displayed to thrilling advantage. Yet the same singer who needed nothing more than discreet accompaniment to turn in a compelling performance, could also ride the fuller currents of a jazz combo, a big band, or a well-stocked studio orchestra with powerful grace. No matter the setting or material, Ella made it all swing like no other jazz vocalist ever has. Ballads ("Round Midnight," "Body and Soul," "Something to Live For"), mid-tempo cruisers ("Midnight Sun," "You Showed Me the Way," "Goody, Goody"), dashing swingers ("How High the Moon," "The Lady is a Tramp," "Airmail Special") -- each number is sparked with a vitality and confidence that fairly bursts from the jazz diva. If you're a Fitzgerald fan (as every lover of jazz and/or popular singing should be), SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR will send you back to the multitudes of Fitzgerald albums you already cherish; for neophyte listeners, this well-chosen set is a great place to develop a necessary Fitzgerald obsession.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Ella Fitzgerald recorded so much, and so much of what she recorded was so good, that the notion of one album summing her up is all but ludicrous. That said, this two-disc set, a companion to a television documentary by the same title, comes the closest of any album so far. It is the first album to span the two most important eras of her recordings, the Decca years, 1935-1955, and the Verve years, 1956-1966. The eight Decca performances include Fitzgerald's first big hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket"; the 1947 scat masterpiece "How High the Moon"; and a selection from the voice-and-piano album Ella Sings Gershwin, "But Not for Me," which foreshadowed the singer's songbook albums of the late '50s and '60s. The Verve recordings get their official start with the appropriate inclusion of "Ridin' High" from 1956's Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book, one of five selections from the celebrated songbook albums. The rest of the choices are gems from Fitzgerald's career, including some stunning scat features, notably a version of "Airmail Special" from the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. The memorable 1960 Berlin performance of "Mack the Knife," with its improvised lyrics, is included, as is a live 1962 recording of "Bill Bailey" which finds this uncanny mimic doing impressions of Della Reese and Pearl Bailey. The uptempo material is offset with some wonderful ballads, among them a version of "Angel Eyes" with only Barney Kessel providing a guitar accompaniment. Fitzgerald fans could cite dozens (if not hundreds) of other stellar performances, many of them from after the 1966 cut-off point of this album, but this is the first time such a long period of Fitzgerald's career has been captured on a single album. Many of the recordings that nearly all fans would agree rank among her best are here.

Product Details

Release Date:
Polygram Records


Disc 1

  1. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
  2. You Showed Me the Way
  3. Stairway to the Stars
  4. How High the Moon
  5. Perdido
  6. Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No!)
  7. Ella's Contribution To The Blues
  8. But Not for Me
  9. Thanks for the Memory
  10. Ridin' High
  11. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye
  12. Angel Eyes
  13. Goody Goody
  14. Oh, Lady Be Good

Disc 2

  1. The Lady Is a Tramp
  2. Body and Soul
  3. Air Mail Special
  4. Midnight Sun
  5. Summertime
  6. Mack the Knife
  7. Misty
  8. The Man I Love
  9. You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)
  10. 'Round Midnight
  11. Bill Bailey, Won't You Come Home?
  12. Yesterdays
  13. Lover Man
  14. Duke's Place
  15. Sweet Georgia Brown
  16. Something To Live For

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ella Fitzgerald   Primary Artist
Bob Cooper   Oboe,Tenor Saxophone
Harry Edison   Trumpet
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet
Herb Ellis   Guitar
Maynard Ferguson   Trumpet
Stan Getz   Tenor Saxophone
Illinois Jacquet   Tenor Saxophone
Louis Jordan   Alto Saxophone,Vocals
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Ted Nash   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Oscar Peterson   Piano
Flip Phillips   Tenor Saxophone
Bud Shank   Alto Saxophone
Paul Smith   Piano,Celeste
Sonny Stitt   Alto Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Lester Young   Tenor Saxophone
Pete Candoli   Trumpet
Taft Jordan   Trumpet
Arnold Ross   Piano
Chick Webb   Drums
Buddy Bregman   Conductor
Bob Johnson   Guitar
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Connie Kay   Drums
Mario Bauzá   Trumpet
Bill Beason   Drums
Milt Bernhart   Trombone
Ray Brown   Bass
Garvin Bushell   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Wayman Carver   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Pete Clark   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Conrad Gozzo   Trumpet
Tommy Fulford   Piano
Chuck Gentry   Baritone Saxophone
George Russell   Conductor
Leonard Graham   Trumpet
Arthur "Skeets" Herfurt   Alto Saxophone,Woodwind
Norm Herzberg   Bassoon
Milt Holland   Percussion
Hilton Jefferson   Alto Saxophone
J.J. Johnson   Trombone
Joe Koch   Woodwind
Joe Mondragon   Bass
Jack Marsh   Bassoon
Teddy McRae   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Beverly Peer   Bass
Dorothy Remsen   Harp
Mischa Russell   Cornemeuse
Alvin Stoller   Drums
Nat Story   Trombone
John Trueheart   Guitar
Lloyd Ulyate   Trombone
Bert Gassman   Oboe
Sylvia Ruderman   Flute
Clint Neagley   Alto Saxophone
Arnold Koblentz   Oboe
Abe Luboff   Bass
Martin Ruderman   Flute
Sandy Williams   Trombone
Chick Webb & His Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Frank DeVol & His Orchestra   Conductor
Bobby Stark   Trumpet
Joe Howard   Trombone
Kenneth Lowman   Bassoon
Ernest Romersa   Woodwind
Philip Stephens   Bass

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Ella Fitzgerald   Arranger,Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
Hank Jones   Composer
Buddy Bregman   Arranger
Van Alexander   Arranger,Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
George Russell   Arranger
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Frank Signorelli   Composer
Matty Malneck   Composer
Frank DeVol & His Orchestra   Arranger
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Hughie Cannon   Composer

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