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Best Ella Fitzgerald album?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, Ella is one of my favorite jazz female vocalists, if not the most, however, for some reason i only have one of hers, Pure Ella, the collection of her best Verve stuff. I was wondering what else is out there, would love something of great repertoire, great recording, and something more near the beginning of her career; the one i have is primarily when she was older, and her voice was getting really shot, whereas during her younger years, her voice was perfect, thanks!
post #2 of 28
I can't claim to be an Ella-afficionado, but her collaboration with Louis Armstrong in recording the 50s Verve release of Porgy and Bess is vastly considered the definitive jazz vocal rendition of "Summertime," if not the definitive performance of all the principal songs from Gershwin's musical.

So, that means I'm saying, this is a sure-thing if you're an Ella fan.
post #3 of 28
I love the Cole Porter Songbook and the George Gershwin Songbook. I also have most of the joint Ella - Louis works.
post #4 of 28
This is a really tough question since there are so many different periods of her career. I started with a three disc compilation set but I find myself slowly obtaining every album she recorded. If there was one album I would recommend, it would be The Complete Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife. Many people consider this her definitive live recording. If you want some good earlier stuff, I would recommend The Early Years, Parts 1 and 2 (The Original Decca Recordings)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=music

One thing to be aware though, especially with her Verve albums: many of them have been re-released and re-mastered a second time on CD, including most of the songbooks. If you're buying an album you might want to make sure it's the most recent CD release and not a prior one.
post #5 of 28
I have a few CDs from Ella Fitzgerald, but the ones I listen to more often than any others are her collobarations with Louis Armstrong (and the rest of the band...Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, and Buddy Rich). The Porgy and Bess one is great too...but not quite as fun.
post #6 of 28

Not Easy to Choose

I'm an old guy, and have heard everything I could get my hands on for a long time. My perennial favorites are the duets albums with Louis Armstrong. My current favorite - maybe the best ever is Ella with Joe Pass on an album titled Take Love Easy. It is an old Pablo release, recently available on XRCD. Just Great.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay White
I'm an old guy, and have heard everything I could get my hands on for a long time. My perennial favorites are the duets albums with Louis Armstrong. My current favorite - maybe the best ever is Ella with Joe Pass on an album titled Take Love Easy. It is an old Pablo release, recently available on XRCD. Just Great.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm in full agreement on all counts (unfortunately even the "old guy" part).

The "Take Love Easy" albulm with Joe Pass is breathtaking (actually, you hear Ella's breath and lip smacking a lot, an excellent example of a close mic'ed recording done right). I've somehow lost this disc, although I still have the sleeve, and trying to find it is driving me nuts! Glad to hear it's out on XRCD now, although I can't imagine that it could be much better than the Pablo version.
post #8 of 28
Ella Fitzgerald Gold is great as it runs through her career and every song is amazing. Ella and Louis used to be one of my favorites until I found Ella and Cole Porter. Both are good but the Cole porter album is more swingin, more fun if you will. Those are the three I have and for me its Gold, Cole, Louis in that order. One thing you can get with the Gold album is "Scat" , Ella was amazing using her voice as an instrument. I am looking up the Joe Pass collection right now, thanks.
post #9 of 28
My fave is actually the other Pure Ella, which consists of 1950-54 duets with brilliant pianist Ellis Larkins. It's an expanded version of Decca's Ella Sings Gershwin, so the first nine of its 20 tracks are tunes by George and Ira. (The rest are by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Burke-Van Heusen, etc.) I wouldn't say the fidelity is any great shakes, but her voice is front and center, relaxed and sublime.

After that, for me it'd have to be the stuff she did with Duke Ellington's orchestra. Musically, they had a special rapport. Hope this helps.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm in full agreement on all counts (unfortunately even the "old guy" part).

The "Take Love Easy" albulm with Joe Pass is breathtaking (actually, you hear Ella's breath and lip smacking a lot, an excellent example of a close mic'ed recording done right). I've somehow lost this disc, although I still have the sleeve, and trying to find it is driving me nuts! Glad to hear it's out on XRCD now, although I can't imagine that it could be much better than the Pablo version.
Interesting that one of Sarah Vaughan's best records - Crazy and Mixed Up - was also recorded on the same label with Joe Pass.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm in full agreement on all counts (unfortunately even the "old guy" part).

The "Take Love Easy" albulm with Joe Pass is breathtaking (actually, you hear Ella's breath and lip smacking a lot, an excellent example of a close mic'ed recording done right). I've somehow lost this disc, although I still have the sleeve, and trying to find it is driving me nuts! Glad to hear it's out on XRCD now, although I can't imagine that it could be much better than the Pablo version.
Just ordered it, cant wait.
post #12 of 28
Add another order to "Take Love Easy" due to this thread. Great recommendations!
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouSlide View Post
Add another order to "Take Love Easy" due to this thread. Great recommendations!
and another.
post #14 of 28
I have the complete songbooks, and they are all terrific. The sound is great for late 1950s recording. She was the best. I also enjoy her albums with Louis Armstrong - they're fun. But I think her songbooks are the hight of her art when she was at the top of her game.
post #15 of 28
First time for XRCD, I wonder if its really that much better?
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