on 16 December 1999
A classic case of less is more; strong songs beautifully performed by Ella at the peak of her power and at the peak of her considerable taste. And Ellis Larkins's piano accompaniment is impeccable. In most cases Ella takes the songs totally straight and lets the strong melodies and lyrics speak for themselves - and it turns out to be a totally right decision. All these words like taste and impeccable tend to damn with faint praise, but this isn't the case here. If you want a textbook example of pure artistry then this is it. Beautifully reissued sound quality too.
on 25 November 2002
This is an extraordinary, beautiful album. Recorded with just a piano and Ella's voice, these are pared down versions but this just adds to their power. This is not an upbeat album, but rewards repeated listens with it's emotional intensity and perfect performances. From what I've heard of the songbooks' lavish orchestration this is quite a different type of album and should certainly not be overlooked. Buy this recording.