Ella Fitzgerald could sing you the phone book and when she finished you would have given her a standing ovation while applauding and begging for more. She could sing them all; and every song she performed glittered like gold in her hands. This CD proves how wonderful Ella's artistry really was; and the Marty Paich arrangements complement Ella's vocals perfectly.
The CD track set gives us all the songs from the record album entitled Ella Swings Lightly along with four bonus tracks. The first number, entitled "Little White Lies," features Ella swinging very gently as she sings with all her heart and soul. The arrangement uses the piano, percussion and horns to bolster the number. The romantic flavor of this number belies the somewhat melancholy lyrics. Awesome! "You Hit The Spot" continues with Ella singing at her very best. "You Hit The Spot" has a faster tempo and Ella never misses a beat. Ella's jazzy rendition of "You Hit The Spot" shines; her excellent diction and vocal athletics work very, very well. The horns and percussion work well in Marty Paich's musical arrangement, too.
"What's Your Story, Morning Glory?" starts with some great horns; and when Ella comes in you know you're in for a real treat! Ella's voice is rich, warm and vibrant. She sings of a woman who loves a man who she suspects doesn't truly love her in return. Ella handles a few quick key changes without any trouble; and this impresses me greatly. "Just You, Just Me" picks up the tempo once more to energize this high octane number about two lovers spending time alone. Ella scats, sings and even weaves the two together in a performance that also showcases her ability to romp quickly through the octaves. "Just You, Just Me" will stun you completely.
Other gems on this CD include "As Long As I Live;" the percussion, horns and piano shine while Ella sings sweetly. "Gotta Be This Or That" lets Ella sing this famous number with a sublime jazzy rendition that makes Ella's interpretation THE definite interpretation of "Gotta Be This Or That." Love that jazzy musical interlude with the horns! "Blues In The Night" has Ella attacking a classic jazz ballad about the trouble a man can cause to a woman who loves him. This somewhat cynical ballad gets the royal treatment from Ella. She sings "Blues In The Night" flawlessly with a few quick tempo changes and just a bit of scatting to make this number special. "You're An Old Smoothie" has Ella singing sweetly as she swings rather gently. Ella also does just a few vocal tricks to enhance her performance all the more.
"720 In The Books" swings well and Ella picks up the tempo to inject this number with electricity. Marty Paich's arrangement makes good use of the horns and piano. Indeed, Ella's vocals and Marty Paich's arrangement complement each other very well. "720 In The Books" provided a strong ending for the record album.
The CD format gives us space for bonus tracks--and we get four of them! The long version of "Oh, What A Night For Love" starts with some great horns; and Ella performs this romantic, slower paced ballad really well. Ella jumps throughout the octaves just a bit to enhance the number, too. Stunning! "Dreams Are Made For Children" gives us a tender lullaby type of ballad; Ella handles this with panache and all the sensitivity a lullaby deserves. The gorgeous melody somewhat hides the bittersweet mention of her hope that her child never grows up because their naļveté will be crushed.
The CD's last bonus track is the shorter single version of "Oh, What A Night For Love." Ella's vocals remain squarely in the spotlight throughout the single version of "Oh, What A Night For Love." Great!
The liner notes include the song credits and James Gavin contributes an informative essay about Ella and the making of this album. The photos of Ella are very nicely done.
Ella Fitzgerald remains a titan in the entertainment world--and rightly so, too. On this CD alone, we hear her scat, sing, sway, and perform numerous vocal gymnastics that only the very best of the best could ever accomplish. Ella left behind her a nearly endless musical legacy that will forever remind us of her talent that knew no limits. Ella enriched all our lives with her artistry; and aspiring artists would do well to study her work.
I highly recommend this CD for Ella's fans; and people who enjoy classic pop vocals will love this CD. If you like classic jazz vocals you won't be disappointed either.