Best Of The Songbooks - Ballads, The - Ella Fitzgerald

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Best Of The Songbooks - Ballads, The - Ella Fitzgerald

1 CD(s) - Classic Jazz Vocals - Label: Verve - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 08/1994 - 731452186720

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Review of "Best Of The Songbooks - Ballads, The - Ella Fitzgerald"

published 20/08/2008 | newbee123
Member since : 16/08/2008
Reviews : 7
Members who trust : 3
About me :
Pro Easy listerning - Relax mode - Good recording
Cons Sax solo a bit shorter - I like more !
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"An Ella's Good Old Days Album (Edited Version)"

My first impression to Ella is from a compilation. What's an amazing to me when her gentle and intimate voice came into my ears? She is really a good singer that you are hard to find in now a day. She sings with her soul and feeling.

Thereafter, I bought "The Ballads" from a local store when I saw it, I told myself must buy and try.

Date of release: 26 July 1994
Genre: Vocal - Jazz Ballads
Label: Verve Records

The Singer - Top Classic.
The Lyric - Graceful, flawless.
The Melody - Tunefulness, easy listening, soothing.
The tempo - Slow to medium.

This jazz ballads album embraced the 50's great ballads collections, including big-band and swing. It's remastered from the original LP by Verve Records.

The background of the music in this record is clean and clear, and Ella's warmth voice is closed to the LP. I am unable to pinpoint to her outstanding and flawless performance in every tracks. The only thing I can say is the instruments in some tracks were playing too hard, especially in track 14, almost cover Ella's voice.

It was really so relaxing and comfortable to enjoy this album anytime you like, even at the lower volume. Some of the tracks are really a good artwork in all ways - from melody, instruments arrangements to the performance of the singer, like track 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 16.

It is an album of good old days from Ella's collections: "Best Of The Songbooks - Ballads, The - Ella Fitzgerald". It is worth to own her album! I lately bought another Ella's album (with Louis) but was still playing this very often.

A rough guide on individual track:

1. Oh, Lady Be Good! ~~ 5/5
I get caught when she sang "..oh….sweet and lovely, lady be good….oh…". This is a very excellent work, all the instruments - violins etc was just nice to play with Ella's seductive voice.

2. I'm Old Fashioned ~~ 5/5
The swing started at 00:44, "I'm old fashioned….""…..that's how I want to be……." Good instruments arrangements, every piece were fixed perfectly. I'm happy with it!

3. Laura ~~ 4/5
This is a big band workout. "…..she gave your very first kiss to you……". The French horn is as seductively as Ella.

4. Day-Dream ~~ 4/5
The big band starting with a crammed together, but Ella brought back my attention with her heartfelt day dream. The alto sax blew up like dreaming after another clashed of trumpet and horn or trombone. Ella should be rated 5/5.

5. Easy to Love ~~ 5/5
This is another excellent workout with a light instrumental play with Ella's deep from her soul's expression. The melody is so relaxing and comfortable …and.. "….so easy to love…"

6. It Was Written in the Stars ~~ 4/5
This is another big band style but with a better layout of instruments. Ella is always perfect.

7. How Long Has This Been Going On? ~~ 5/5
A fresh started with a harp, xylophone & a crystal clear clarinet. The violins are playing harmonic with it. At 00:56 "I could cry………….how long has this been going on…." A very sentimental melody she sang. The trombone solo is nice but a bit short. "I could melt! Into heaven…….." Wow!

8. Let's Begin ~~ 5/5
Another great easy listening swing style melody. The instruments were just tacit to play with Ella's perfectly. Piano, guitar, clarinet and the trombone play their parts without blemish. This track should play longer, only 3 mins.
The rhythms are very tunefulness that drives you to dance! "Let's begin…"

9. Now It Can Be Told ~ 4/5
The only thing is the violins were loud when played in loudspeakers, it is acceptable when in PC's speaker system. Ella is never down her standards. A clear guitar accompanied her.

10. There's a Small Hotel ~~ 4/5
Ella is gracefulness and the violins made the leads.

11. Do Nothing till You Hear From Me ~~ 5/5
A simple layout with a few instruments - mainly on guitar and a good solid bass, the sexy alto sax solo played again at 2:38. I like the length of this solo sax, sufficient to temper my ears! Of course the sexiest still Ella's.

12. Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good) ~~ 4/5
The trombone, piano, guitar and violins play peacefulness with Ella.

13. You're Laughing at Me ~~ 5/5
This track is blue, she is sad "You're laughing at me…." "I want to be romantic.." The horn is sharing with her feeling.

14. Ship Without a Sail, A ~~ 3/5
I don't like the violins too crowded to disrupt her voice. So I give this track 3/5. Sorry not Ella, I think it is the fault of the recording?

15. Trav'lin' Light ~~ 5/5
The trumpet, horn, clarinet & trombone in this track were well mixed with Ella. "…he may come back again………I'm a trav'lin light…" she sang with hopes. An excellent big-band!

16. This Time the Dream's on Me ~~ 5/5
"Some where some day…….." with a deep breath gave me a wow (I heard this breath when using a headphone)! The clear warm guitar attracted me when starting. She carried forward her blue mood from track 13! This time the saxophone solo at 2:03, at the right of Ella (on your left) so lively. Oops but too short for me!

Additional Info:

Ella Fitzgerald (vocals);
Nelson Riddle (arranger, conductor);
Russell Procope (alto saxophone, clarinet);
Plas Johnson (tenor saxophone);
Shorty Sherock (trumpet);
Britt Woodman, Tommy Pederson (trombone);
John Cave (French horn);
Buddy Collette (flute);
Gerald Vinci, Sidney Sharp (violin);
David Sterkin, Paul Robyn (viola);
Eleanor Slatkin (cello);
Corky Hale (harp);
Paul Smith (piano);
Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis (guitar);
Joe Mondragon (bass);
Frank Flynn, Alvin Stoller (drums).

Thanks for reading.

Jason G ~ Aug 2008

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Comments on this review

  • lml888v published 26/10/2008
    Great review, very nicely done.
  • tune57 published 17/09/2008
    My Dad used to listen to Ella all the time when I was growing up. Lovely review. Mx
  • carcraig published 03/09/2008
    Great review on the music of a special lady......Caroline xx
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Product Information : Best Of The Songbooks - Ballads, The - Ella Fitzgerald

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Classic Jazz Vocals - Label: Verve - Distributor: Universal Music - Released: 08/1994 - 731452186720

Product Details

EAN: 731452186720


Listed on Ciao since: 10/11/2005