Ella at Zardi's

Ella at Zardi's

by Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald


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The enchanting archival live album, Ella at Zardi's, finds legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald in concert at the famed Los Angeles club Zardi's in February of 1956. No random session, the Zardi's show was captured in the wake of producer Norman Granz founding his then-newly minted label Verve Records for the sole purpose of recording Fitzgerald. While the singer had long been under Granz's management, in his estimation she had languished at Decca, suffering under the label's choice of average songs and poor promotion. In moving Fitzgerald to Verve, Granz sought to showcase her virtuosic talent on record much in the same way that he had with the vibrant Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts since the mid-'40s. The move worked, and historically, the Verve years marked Fitzgerald's most fertile period, when she transformed from a popular vocalist into a creatively influential and commercially successful jazz icon. While all of her talent is on display here, the charm of the album is just how intimate, low-key, and seemingly off-the-cuff everything sounds. Backing Fitzgerald with urbane sensitivity is pianist Don Abney, bassist Vernon Alley, and drummer Frank Capp. Interestingly, barring the singer's own swaggering vocal improvs, there isn't any soloing from her band. Clearly, Granz wanted the spotlight to remain firmly centered on his star performer. The result is a breezy cabaret vibe with Fitzgerald fielding requests from the audibly enthusiastic audience. Included are many of her most well-known songbook standards at that point, including such standouts as "Tenderly," "How High the Moon," and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." She even offers up an exuberantly swinging reading of her signature 1938 original hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," dedicating the song to her co-writer Van Alexander, who was in attendance that night. No doubt there may have been other celebrities at the club that night (Marilyn Monroe was a famous Fitzgerald-champion during the '50s). Ultimately, it's just those kinds of personal touches, matched with Fitzgerald's dazzling vocal skills, that make Ella at Zardi's such a magical experience.

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Product Details

Release Date: 12/01/2017
Label: Verve
UPC: 0602557980516
catalogNumber: 002742202
Rank: 97949


  1. It All Depends on You
  2. Tenderly
  3. Why Don't You Do Right
  4. Cry Me a River
  5. In a Mellow Tone
  6. Joe Williams's Blues
  7. A Fine Romance
  8. How High the Moon
  9. Gone With the Wind
  10. Bernie's Tune
  11. 'S Wonderful
  12. Glad to Be Unhappy
  13. Lullaby of Birdland
  14. The Tender Trap
  15. The And the Angels Sing
  16. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  17. Little Boy
  18. A-Tisket, A-Tasket
  19. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
  20. Airmail Special
  21. I've Got a Crush on You

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ella Fitzgerald   Primary Artist,Vocals
Don Abney   Piano
Vernon Alley   Bass

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Charlie Christian   Composer
Ella Fitzgerald   Composer
Benny Goodman   Composer
George Shearing   Composer
Ziggy Elman   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Van Alexander   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Norman Granz   Introduction
Lew Brown   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Milt Gabler   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Walter Gross   Composer
Arthur Hamilton   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Jack Lawrence   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Allie Wrubel   Composer
Josh Cheuse   Art Direction
Kirk Silsbee   Liner Notes
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Jimmy Munday   Composer
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
Edwin Fotheringham   Cover Illustration
Bernie Miller   Composer
George Weiss   Composer
Joe McCoy   Composer
Herb Magidson   Composer
Anthony Munderville   Studio Manager

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