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Best Ella Fitzgerald album? - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicalguy View Post
I think her Songbooks are the height of her art when she was at the top of her game.
Yup, and I think that's kinda more what the OP was looking for rather than the Pablo stuff. The Pablos are also undeniably great (I also like Fitzgerald and Pass…Again), but the OP specifically asked for music from earlier.
post #17 of 28
The absolute drop dead best Ella performance I've ever heard is the 1957 Brussels concert. It's on DVD ( Amazon.com: Ella Fitzgerald - Live in '57 and '63 (Jazz Icons): Ella Fitzgerald: Movies & TV ) along with a later television concert that isn't quite as good.

See ya
Steve
post #18 of 28
I have to agree with the choices already posted. Ella has such a massive volume of work, it gets hard to choose because there are really no “bad” choices. The songbook series are a must. My particular favorites are the Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer discs. Her collaborations with Louie, Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson are excellent as well. I saw her live in Berlin in 1971 (not the concert CD, I think that was from 1960). She was phenomenal.
post #19 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.
If you like Ella with Joe Pass, you should also get Ella and Oscar (Peterson) on XRCD (VICJ-60097) Ella with Pass was recorded in 1973, and Ella with Oscar in 1975. Her voice no longer has the range and elasticity she had when she was in her prime but the recordings are excellent and the close mic'ing gives a very intimate feeling.
post #20 of 28
No Ella collection can be complete without 'Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie'.

It's a must. Wonderful recording and material.
post #21 of 28
I have to agree, all her duets with louis... i love when his trumpet sings to accompany her...
post #22 of 28
There is actually a "best of" the song books.... called "the songbooks" imaginatively enough. And that's a really really nice intro.
post #23 of 28
To borrow a line from Frank Sinatra, asking someone for the best Ella Fitzgerald album is like asking if I like steak more than ice cream. It's a choice that I wouldn't want to make because it depends on what I'm "hungry" for at the time.

So add my vote to The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books. No serious fan of her music should be without it.



This set is expensive (Amazon has it for $189) but it spans 16 CDs and has some of her best recordings (though admittedly I have yet to hear a bad Ella Fitzgerald recording). This set is worth every penny.

--Jerome
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaliga View Post
To borrow a line from Frank Sinatra, asking someone for the best Ella Fitzgerald album is like asking if I like steak more than ice cream. It's a choice that I wouldn't want to make because it depends on what I'm "hungry" for at the time.

So add my vote to The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books. No serious fan of her music should be without it.



This set is expensive (Amazon has it for $189) but it spans 16 CDs and has some of her best recordings (though admittedly I have yet to hear a bad Ella Fitzgerald recording). This set is worth every penny.

--Jerome
This looks interesting!

BTW, thanks to everyone who recommended XRCD Joe Pass Disc. It came today (Pony Express) and it is amazing!
post #25 of 28
The Cole Porter Songbook is the best
post #26 of 28
If you happen to think Cole Porter is the best song writer then I suppose so.

But Ella Fitzgerald was too brilliant and too prolific a singer and recording artist to attempt to reduce her nearly 50-year recording career to a single "best" album. With artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra one can only hope to advise newcomers to their art as to where would be a good place to start. After that one must leave it to the listener to explore that artist from there.

With Ella Fitzgerald, I would argue that as a starting point you can't go wrong with anything she did for Verve. And she did a lot more than just the song books, though I believe that the song books are her most important work artistically.

I know earlier I recommended the Complete Song Books boxed set. But on second thought that suggestion might not be a good one. It is a lot of money to spend for someone just getting into Ella. Buying the individual song books won't be such a good deal either if you end up buying them all seperately (and I don't know if some of them like the Johnny Mercer song book is available seperately).

So I would like to suggest other titles that would be that "good place to start" without spending a lot of money.

Here is one:




And here is another:



I just listened to both on vinyl yesterday. They are both available on CD, and both are very affordable and will give you a feel for Fitzgerald's vocal style. Definitely a great place to start.

--Jerome
post #27 of 28

Sorry for the thread necro but I came here looking for more Ella albums to add to my collection and was surprised to find nobody has mentioned "Ella Swings Lightly."

Some timeless jazz standards recorded in the most breezy, swingin' way possible, an intimate yet wholly fun album and Ella is in peak form. It's effortlessly brilliant. Was lucky enough to pick it up on vinyl in Tokyo for about $6, maybe the best single album purchase of my young life!

 

Here's one of my favourite cuts from the album (although the cover art suggests the uploader has ripped it from some other compilation):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcWBWIK72jQ

post #28 of 28

The greatest Ella performance I've ever heard (and seen) is on this DVD. It is drop dead perfection.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Icons-Ella-Fitzgerald-Live/dp/B000H9HWRI/

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