The Best of the Concert Years: Trios & Quartets

The Best of the Concert Years: Trios & Quartets

by Ella Fitzgerald


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Here is an intelligently sequenced compilation covering recordings that the great jazz singer made over a 30-year span for Norman Granz. Instead of the expected hodgepodge of tracks frantically jumping around from one concert to another, Pablo's Fantasy custodians wrap up things in four extended sequences, one from each decade. First are a pair of numbers in the acoustically suspect Santa Monica Civic Auditorium circa 1972 ("Night and Day," "Little White Lies"), where Fitzgerald has a wobble in her voice but never stops swinging for a second with the Tommy Flanagan Trio. Then it doubles back to a JATP gig in Tokyo in 1953, and a younger, smoother, almost bel canto Fitzgerald -- then still under contract to pop-minded Decca -- emerges in "Body and Soul" and "My Funny Valentine." But the swinging, joyful Fitzgerald isn't far away in "Why Don't You Do Right?" and the virtuosic scat display on "Oh Lady, Be Good" (she even does a deadly accurate impression of humming bassist Slam Stewart). With the Jimmy Jones Trio -- anchored by Duke Ellington's unstoppably swinging drummer Sam Woodyard -- Fitzgerald visits Carnegie Hall in 1967, skipping playfully through "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," while a moody vocalise treatment of Billy Strayhorn's "Day Dream" wipes everyone out. Finally it's Fitzgerald back in Tokyo in 1983 with her regular Paul Smith Trio and what a difference 30 years makes; the voice is deeper, less flexible, and fraying at the end of phrases. Unaltered, though, is the sheer joy of singing that is sensed in an exuberantly scatted "All of Me." As a single-disc summary of Fitzgerald's work fronting intimate chamber groups in concert, this is a good bet.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/29/2003
Label: Pablo
UPC: 0025218044127
catalogNumber: 2405441
Rank: 141455

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ella Fitzgerald   Primary Artist,Vocals
Herb Ellis   Guitar
Tommy Flanagan   Piano
Ed Thigpen   Drums
Bob Cranshaw   Bass
Keter Betts   Bass
Ray Brown   Bass
J.C. Heard   Drums
Jimmy Jones   Piano
Ray Tunia   Piano
Sam Woodyard   Drums
Bobby Durham   Drums
Paul Smith   Piano

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
James P. Johnson   Composer
Cootie Williams   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Norman Granz   Producer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Walter Donaldson   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Johnny Green   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Edward Heyman   Composer
John Latouche   Composer
Joe McCoy   Composer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Billy Strayhorn   Composer
Val Valentin   Engineer
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Bernie Hanighen   Composer
Ann Ronell   Composer
Ted Koehler   Composer
Robert Sour   Composer
Frank Eyton   Composer
Seymour Simons   Composer
Gerald Marks   Composer
Morgan Lewis   Composer
Andrew Velez   Liner Notes
Billy Rose   Composer

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