To those of you picking up where Vols. 1 and 2 of this extraordinary document left off, welcome back. If you are new to the scene, welcome to a rare treat (and go get the first set). This is the great Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, as loose and as brilliant as you have ever heard.
On stage Ella Fitzgerald was recorded prolifically, from Hollywood to Newport, from Chicago to Berlin. What's amazing is that across all four discs is material that had never been released anywhere before -- wonderfully intimate and swinging performances from the Crescendo nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA, where Ella and her band were relaxed and seriously tuned in to each other.
"Her honesty got across to the audience," said Lou Levy, Ella's longtime bandleader. "She had a wonderful sound, she swung real hard." Norman Granz, Ella's label owner and manager recorded every set, every night, from several engagements in May 1961, and hardly a tune was repeated. Disc 3 here represents more from those shows. Disc 4 is the best of Ella's return to the Crescendo a year later, when she was backed by a trio.
From wherever you start to however you finish, Twelve Nights In Hollywood is a delight. Ella's intimate ballad work is breathtaking. Her rhythmic romps are endlessly entertaining. No other Ella album draws such a complete portrait of this joyful practitioner of the fine art of jazz. From the Producers