||From the Vault...
"The Legendary Decca Recordings"
© Decca Records
Year of Release: 1995
Disc One: The Very Best
Stairway to The Stars
Five O'Clock Whistle
Cow Cow Boogie
Stone Cold Dead
In The Market
You Won't Be Satisfied
Until You Break
I'm Just A Lucky
So And So
I Didn't Mean A Word
Oh Lady Be Good
How High The Moon
In The Evening
When The Sun
You'll Have To Swing It
Parts 1 And 2
Lullaby Of Birdland
Hard Hearted Hannah
Disc Two: Ella & Friends
The Frim Fram Sauce
Dream A Little Dream
Can Anyone Explain
Would You Like To
Take A Walk
Into Each Life
Some Rain Must Fall
I'm Making Believe
I'm Beginning To
See The Light
I Still Feel The Same
Baby It's Cold Outside
Don't Cry Cry Baby
Ain't Nobody's Business
But My Own
I'll Never Be Free
It's Only A Paper Moon
(Gonna) Cry You
Out Of My Heart
(I Love You) For
It's A Pity
To Say Goodnight
I Gotta Have
My Baby Back
Disc Three: Ella Sings
Gershwin & Others
Someone To Watch
My One And Only
But Not For Me
Looking For A Boy
I've Got A Crush On You
How Long Has This
Been Going On
I'm Glad There Is You
What Is There To Say
People Will Say
We're In Love
Please Be Kind
Until The Real Thing Comes Along
My Heart Belongs
You Leave Me Breathless
Baby What Else Can I Do
Nice Work If You
Can Get It
Disc Four: Ella &
Basin Street Blues
I've Got The World
On A String
I'm Gonna Wash
Right Outta My Hair
I Wished On The Moon
A Sunday Kind Of Love
That's My Desire
Thanks For The Memory
It Might As Well
You'll Never Know
I Can't Get Started
That Old Black Magic
Old Devil Moon
Lover Come Back To Me
Between The Devil And
The Deep Blue Sea
(Love Is) The Tender Trap
My One And Only Love
Ella Fitzgerald related sites:
"The Legendary Decca Recordings"
My really only memory of Ella Fitzgerald while growing up, was watching her television commercial for Memorex:
"Is it live or is it Memorex?" and how her singing voice would shatter glass. Throughout my early childhood, I never
had any of her records, and none of her songs stood out in my mind, from listening to the radio, or from older people
(preferably my family) who listed to her music. Of course, they all knew of her, I just never had the opportunity to
"discover" her music while growing up.
This would all change when I listened to her Legendary Decca Recordings. I can easily see (and hear) how
Ella Fitzgerald was a huge impact to the Jazz genre. A great talent, great singer, a Legend. The 80-songs on this
box set simply identifies Ella Fitzgerald as one of the true giants in Jazz music.
The 4-disc box set has each disc representing a particular "era." There are 20 songs per disc.
Disc One: The Very Best Of Ella
This particular disc would easily be an album in itself. Every song (which is true for every disc in this set) are
exceptional. Yet the highlights for me are the songs I pretty much have already heard of, yet not the Ella Fitzgerald
versions: "A-Tisket A-Tasket," "How High The Moon" (the Les Paul & Mary Ford version), "My Happiness"
(Elvis Presley). Yet other standouts are "Five O'Clock Whistle," "Flying Home", "You Won't Be Satisfied Until You
Break My Heart." What is also another huge highlights are the songs where Ella Fitzgerald was famous for: Singing
in "scat": "Flying Home," "Oh Lady Be Good," "How High The Moon," "Airmail Special," "Blue Lou."
Disc Two: Ella & Friends
This another very impressive disc. Of the 20 songs here, Ella is joined by other Jazz Legends: Louis Armstrong,
The Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, The The Delta Rhythm Boys, (whom I've never heard of), and the Mills Brothers.
Ella and Louis' "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" is a highlight, and the lyrics of "Can Anyone Explain" can
bring a chuckle or two. With the Ink Spots, their song "I'm Making Believe" hit the #1 spot on Billboard
back in December, 1944, for two weeks. Every duet with Louis Jordan are classics. Of the songs with the Delta Rhythm Boys,
two standout for me, as I was already familiar with these tunes: "It's Only A Paper Moon" (known from the movie
(Paper Moon), starring Tatum O'Neal, and "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," a #1 song for Nat King Cole.
Only two songs are with the Mills Brothers, of which neither I have never heard of before. As a big fan of The Mills
Brothers, I'm just wondering if there were other recordings by Ella and The Mills Brothers.
Disc Three: Ella Sings Gershwin & Others
This disc (as well as the fourth one) captures the soulfulness of Ella Fitzgerald. Highlights from this particular
disc are the classic standards "Someone To Watch Over Me," "I've Got A Crush On You,""People Will Say We're In Love,"
"Makin' Whoopee," "Stardust."
Disc Four: Ella & The Arrangers
Six arrangers from Ella's career are focused on the disc. And of the six, I am only familiar with one bolded:
Sy Oliver, Gordon Jenkins, Bob Haggart, Andre Previn, Benny Carter, and Toots Camerata.
The highlights include "Basin Street Blues" (of which there is a nice imitation of Louis Armstrong), "I've Got
The World On A String," "Happy Talk," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "A Sunday Kind Of Love," "Thanks For
The Memory," "It Might As Well Be Spring," "You Never Know," "That Old Black Magic."
There are many box sets, and this one is a must to get. Recently, we reviewed Billie Holiday's Lady In Autumn:
The Best Of The Verve Years. Which one is better, Ella's or Billie's? I'd have to say Ella's, probably because there
are more discs in this set than Billie's. I didn't really grow up listening to both Ella and Billie, as I am discovering
both of their incredible music more now.
But for the true Jazz fan, Ella Fitzgerald is one of the artists never to be overlooked. Ella was a Legend, and an
inspiration to the future of popular Jazz artists. There are standards on this box set, scat songs that will result in awe.
Only remembering her from the Memorex commercials back then, I was more focused on Rock, as I grew older, my only regret
was not to discover the great Jazz artists while in my early childhood. Although this box set was from her Decca era,
she also recorded for the Verve label (just as Billie Holiday did).
Of the two discs, the first two are the most impressive. The whole box set is definitely worth purchasing.
Discover or re-discover Ella Fitzgerald's priceless recordings from her early career. Most of the songs were first
appeared on 78 rpm. Throughout the next decades, 45s and albums (33 1/3) would be a part of Ella's collecting.
Then with the compact disc, collecting her music would simply be worth having. In looking at the Jazz charts, I've only
seen one of her albums reach #1. Not one of her songs reached the Jazz singles chart, although I'm not really sure if
both of these charts are dated from before 1967 (for Jazz Albums) and 2006 (for Jazz songs). In 1993, she had both legs
amputated from diabetes. She passed away on June 15, 1996, at the age of 79.
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