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  • Intimate Ella [CASSETTE]
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Intimate Ella [CASSETTE]

9 customer reviews

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Of all the critiques that have been written about Ella Fitzgerald, East Coast music critic Tony Mastrianni’s perhaps best defined her very special song stylings. “In the case of Ella Fitzgerald you have something unique. There continues to be no one like her, no one who uses a voice so completely like a musical instrument. . . . She can stray from the melody, sing around it, and ... Read more in Amazon's Ella Fitzgerald Store

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (19 Jun. 1990)
  • Label: Universal Music & VI
  • ASIN: B00000ESBT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

1. Black Coffee
2. Angel Eyes
3. I Cried for You
4. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
5. Then You've Never Been Blue
6. I Hadn't Anyone Till You
7. My Melancholy Baby
8. Misty
9. September Song
10. One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)
11. Who's Sorry Now?
12. I'm Getting Sentimental over You
13. Reach for Tomorrow

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2007
Format: Audio CD
In this most unusual recording, Ella Fitzgerald could be mistaken for a cabaret singer, not a world-renowned jazz superstar. Here, accompanied only by Paul Smith on piano, she sings melancholy ballads, and it is easy to picture her standing by a piano in a smoky cabaret, late at night, quietly musing about the man who got away--and making you feel her sadness. Recorded in 1960, the same year that Ella recorded her famous jazz concert in Berlin, this recording remained essentially "lost" in a vault after its original release, until it was rediscovered and re-released in 1989. It may be Ella's "prettiest" album--not her typical fare, but absolutely gorgeous, nevertheless.

"Black Coffee," a song which many people believe "belongs" to Peggy Lee, is more tuneful in Ella's hands, sung with a sexy world-weariness that never descends into gloom. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," so often sung in a quick tempo, is slowed way down here, in the thoughtful mood of someone who has nothing to give to the relationship, except love. "Then You've Never Been Blue" and "Reach for Tomorrow," both new songs to me, show the transition from the sadness of a lost love and the age-old hope for tomorrow.

"Who's Sorry Now," forever associated with Connie Francis, could not be more different when sung by Ella--much slower and sung almost in a whisper, as she muses about turnabout and fair play in a relationship, and when she sings "I'm glad that you're sorry now," it's clear that she's not glad at all. Even standards like "Misty," "September Song," and "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," take on new meanings here. A terrific CD in which Ella Fitzgerald proves that she can do absolutely anything with a song. Mary Whipple
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By on 11 Dec. 1999
Format: Audio CD
This was first released as 'Let No Man Write my Epitaph', supposedly the sound track of the eponymous film.My original copy has long since become unplayable so I am delighted to find this re-issue. Just Ella and a piano bringing a distinctive emotional style to a wide range of top class songs. Perfect for sitting in the dark with a brandy and your own thoughts.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 28 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
Ella was famous for actually having an incredible range of voice, perfect pitch and relative pitch [extremely rare outside of Opera.] She popularised classy swing and cool Be Bop scat singing in the 50's and early 60's....but if you really know your will know that she enjoyed singing ballards the most. You will also know that there is absolutely no one who can match her depth of feeling on these tunes the way she has here.
The Intimate Ella is by far one of, if not, the best of her albums on Verve [her peak years.] Her voice so tender and pure beautiful without being sickly or contrived. She takes a standard ballard and lifts it to a higher place....check out I Cried For You....a fare standard by many [Holliday etc.] Ella brings an emotional honesty and depth to this piece that no one has done since....her inspirational change in key at the end of the song is heart breaking. Ella makes an ok tune sound like aural beauty. Like Ira Gershwin often said about her interpretations of his songs..."I didn't know our songs were good till Ella sang them!"
Her version of Black Coffee makes Peggy Lee's redundant... quite frankly Ella's is the real deal. Her versions of I cant give you anything But Love and especially her version of Misty are the difinitive vocal renditions. Forget the other cheesy vocal versions....Ella's voice with an inspired piano accompanying her is so beautiful it almost hurts....the album is one big smooth vibe!
Her version of Angel Eyes actually leaves Sinatra's sounding cold and somewhat feeling sorry for himself. [till I heard Ella's only Sinatra could do this tune for me!] Ella's feels purer in intention ....and even more desolate but also more honest. While this LP is often downbeat it is never contrived or moaning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD
We're used to hearing Ella backed by an orchestra, like Buddy Bregman's or Nelson Riddle's; and usually she sings up-tempo numbers. Not that there are not also lots of romantic things on her Gershwin and other American Songbook albums.

But here Ella sings in gentle vein to the accompaniment of just Paul Smith's piano. Singing a `solo' recital like this lays a vocalist's singing style bare and the 13 tracks on this LP/CD show what a talented singer and consummate professional Ella is. As Ira Gershwin says on the booklet, `I had never realised just how good our songs really were until I heard them sung by Ella Fitzgerald.' For so many listeners she is the `first lady of song'.

The songs here have a strange provenance. They were originally recorded in 1960 as the soundtrack of a film entitled `Let no man write my epitaph' - a very strange background to such romantic melodies and treatments. There are obvious parallels here between this disc and a previous one that Ella made of Gershwin songs accompanied by Ellis Larkins at the piano.

Ella sings several songs here that we often associate with other singers: the archetypal saloon song `One for my baby', `Black coffee', `Misty', `I'm getting sentimental over you', and so on. But Ella, with Paul Smith's help, makes every one her own. A really great album to sip along with a warm brandy.
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