Something to Live For

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/2/1999
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • UPC: 731454780025
  • Catalog Number: 547800
  • Sales rank: 19,721

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ella Fitzgerald Primary Artist
Bob Cooper Oboe, Tenor Saxophone
Harry "Sweets" 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
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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