Best of the Songbooks

Best of the Songbooks

5.0 5
by Ella Fitzgerald
     
 

The series of songbook recordings that Ella Fitzgerald made throughout the 1950s were her ticket to vocal immortality. Each of these tributes to America's greatest songwriters -- George Gershwin, Howard Arlen, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers and Hart, and Jerome Kern -- has its own mighty rewards. And how could they not? Fitzgerald was in peak voice… See more details below

Overview

The series of songbook recordings that Ella Fitzgerald made throughout the 1950s were her ticket to vocal immortality. Each of these tributes to America's greatest songwriters -- George Gershwin, Howard Arlen, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers and Hart, and Jerome Kern -- has its own mighty rewards. And how could they not? Fitzgerald was in peak voice, and her material is some of the most exquisite and durable popular songs ever written. For many vocal aficionados, Ella's versions of these songs are difficult to match, let alone top. This fine collection skims some of the best from the individual albums. Honestly, how can you miss with songs like "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Cotton Tail," "Miss Otis Regrets," "Midnight Sun," and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"?

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Simply a grand and eloquent performance put together by Verve records highlighting the best years of Ella Fitzgerald -- that sassy, charming legendary singer in jazz. The Best of the Songbooks features a captivating lineup of some of jazz's greatest composers and arrangers. It is here that Fitzgerald records and sings songs of Cole Porter, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer. Presented first is a rousing and captivating rendition of "Something's Gotta Give," a jazzed up, high stepping tune just right for finger snapping, with "enough brass to propel her across the finish line." Blazing up the tune, Fitzgerald soon melts the engaging listener's heart with the heartwarming ballad "Love is Here to Stay." Perhaps the most challenging and appealing number from the Berlin songbook, "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," is sung most effectively, racing through with a sense of dignified grace like a master storyteller. After a dreamy ballad, Fitzgerald would usually close the set with the haunting "Miss Otis Regrets" as an encore, remaining one of her most requested songs. No other song brings to light her ability to glide into a song as the opening of "'S Wonderful," on which Fitzgerald adds a Charleston-era slang with great charisma in the verse. Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" is credibly one of her most haunting tunes, featuring a musician's muted trumpets that set the stage for higher-quality adult music with more passionate and sensual substance. Always a crowd favorite, Ella Fitzgerald shines with an enchanting rendition of "They Can't Take That Away From Me." The melody on "Midnight Sun" melts with the gripping sound of session musician Riddle, never taking away the poignancy of this work. Then there's other classics such as "Hooray for Love" and the flashy "Cotton Tail" to tingle and tickle the listener's fancy. This collection brings forth a sparkling blend of both Ella Fitzgerald, the lady and voice, and captures her spirit and ambiance with a perfect balance of up-tempo brass band hits and soft ballads. This songbook series is ensured to be a compelling and gratifying collection foretelling her legacy for some time to come. Originally, more than two hundred songs written by America's greatest 20th century composers were chosen to represent Ella Fitzgerald in a series. The Best of the Songbooks highlights that work. This is highly recommended and is sure to put a smile on the faces of the most novice and discriminating listeners. ~ Shawn Haney

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/1993
Label:
Polygram Records
UPC:
0731451980428
catalogNumber:
519804
Rank:
218

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ella Fitzgerald   Primary Artist,Vocals
Cat Anderson   Trumpet
Bob Cooper   Tenor Saxophone
Buddy DeFranco   Clarinet
Paul Gonsalves   Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Hodges   Alto Saxophone
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Ray Nance   Trumpet
Ted Nash   Alto Saxophone
Paul Smith   Piano
Willie Smith   Alto Saxophone
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Willie Cook   Trumpet
Jimmy Woode   Bass
Buddy Bregman   Conductor
Russell Procope   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Quentin Jackson   Trombone
Britt Woodman   Trombone
Larry Bunker   Vibes
Harry Carney   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Clark Terry   Trumpet
John Collins   Guitar
Don Fagerquist   Trumpet
Duke Ellington   Piano
Frank Flynn   Vibes
Jimmy Hamilton   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Hendrickson   Guitar
Joe Mondragon   Bass
Nelson Riddle   Conductor
John Sanders   Trombone
Stuff Smith   Violin
Alvin Stoller   Drums
Paul Weston & His Orchestra   Conductor
Sam Woodyard   Drums

Technical Credits

Buddy Bregman   Arranger
Norman Granz   Producer
Michael Lang   Compilation Supervisor
Nelson Riddle   Arranger
Val Valentin   Engineer
Paul Weston & His Orchestra   Arranger
Geoffrey Mark Fidelman   Liner Notes
Chris Thompson   Art Direction

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >