Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald This is an abridged version of a box set called The First Lady Of Song. I did the abridging, and I still have 180 minutes of Ella.

Ella had a quite a few pop hits prior to 1955, and more after on the adult contemporary and R & B charts than on the hot 100, where she only had 4 records, two of which are on this collection.

If you know Ella Fitzgerald, there’s not much I can tell you. If you don’t know Ella Fitzgerald, then ditto.

Ella Fitzgerald:

Perdido – Ella? Ella? You there Ella? Quite a bit of the song goes by before she makes her (unquestionably regal) entrance. Quite the showpiece, recorded live.
Too Darn Hot – How the climate interferes with romance. Possibly the only song ever written that refers to the Kinsey Report.
Miss Otis Regrets – A tale of high society, heartbreak, violence, mob murder, and tea.
April In Paris – A jazz standard, and a hit for Count Basie in 1956.
Undecided – Also done by The Ames Brothers.
Can’t We Be Friends? – With Louis Armstrong. A song about romantic exasperation.
Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered – Love and unmitigated lust. I like the Doris Day version, but Ella’s is earthy where Doris is dainty.
Just A-Sittin’ And A-Rockin – Rocking in the old rocking chair…
I’m Just A Lucky So And So – Also done by Chuck Berry and Mose Allison.
A-Tisket A-Tasket – A remake of one of her signature songs.
Air Mail Special – A scat special.
I Won’t Dance
Summertime – The Gershwin classic, with Louis Armstrong.
Oh Lady Be Good
More Than You Know
Lush Life – Social disease…
Blue Skies – Great stuff by Irving Berlin. My favourite recording of this is by Dinah Washington.
Swingin’ Shepherd Blues – The Moe Koffman hit with words.
These Foolish Things – by Joni James originally. Also done by Etta James and by Bryan Ferry.
Travelin’ Light – Not the Cliff Richard song.
You’re An Old Smoothie
Makin’ Whoopee – The Tin Pan Alley standard.
How Long Has This Been Going On – Quite a while apparently…
Mack The Knife – Her biggest pop hit, from the spring of 1960. I don’t care for the way she does this, and I wonder why they put this out as a single.
How High The Moon – A big hit for Les Paul & Mary Ford, and a less big hit for Ella in the fall of 1960.
Black Coffee – Done well by Peggy Lee before her, and by The Pointer Sisters after. Ella’s version is suitably smoky.
Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow – Cheerful, cheerful, cheerful. Also done my Vaughn Monroe, and a million others.
Get Happy – Judy Garland did this.
Heart And Soul – So many did this; a pop hit for The Cleftones and for Jan & Dean.
(If You Can’t Sing It) You’ll Have To Swing It
A Night In Tunisia – Jazz standard. Check out Dizzy Gillespie.
I Can’t Get Started – The frustration of everthing-works-for-me-but-this.
Don’t Be That Way
After You’ve Gone
Hernando’s Hideaway – Ella’s rendition of this brings out all the underworld seediness.
A Fine Romance - Also done by The Ames Brothers, a wonderful song of frustration.
Deed I Do
Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya
Can’t Buy Me Love – Ella takes on The Beatles, in her own inimitable style.
Day In, Day Out
Here’s That Rainy Day
(I’ve Got) Something To Live For
You’ve Changed – Good enough, but Billie Holiday’s version was heartbreaking.
Jazzy Samba – I prefer the instrumental.
It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing – Indeed it doesn’t..

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