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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 23 November 2005
You don't have to be familiar with the glorious voice of Ella Fitzgerald to appreciate this CD. Recorded in 1959 - 1960, Ella's vocal variations of all of the standard xmas favourites are just inspired. Being an avid Ella fan myself, I actually laughed out loud with joy when I first bought this cd in Paris a few years ago. She changes lyrics and melodies in a way only Ella can get away with.... she's BRILLIANT. It's a must have!!!
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on 4 October 2008
The magic of Christmas is truly captured to magnificent effect on this remarkable CD.Make no mistake, Ella holds nothing back on these wonderful recordings.The CD is made up of the complete original album with the fabulous orchestral arrangements by Frank Devol plus two previously unreleased tracks and alternative takes. There is something very special about the music of Christmas which conjures up all our memories of Christmas's past and this CD is no exception.
Ella and the orchestra power-house their way through these songs and are still able to capture the spirit of the season and never sacrifice the meaning of the lyrics or the integrity of the music for a second.

This album is far removed from her other Christmas album which was a much more low key affair as the vocal and orchestral arrangements were much more subdued and recorded as a set of Christmas carols "ballad style" with a bluesy feel to the album.

The tracks on this present CD are superb and flawless - just what one would expect from probably the best female jazz singer of all time.For a great sounding zappy Christmas album it just doesn't get any better than this.
The original album was recorded in Columbia's 30th Street studios in the heart of Manhattan,New York City in the early summer of 1960.The bonus tracks were recorded the same year in Hollywood,California with another fine arranger,Russ Garcia who also did all the arrangements for Ella and Louis Armstrong's famous album of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess.

The liner notes of this Christmas album contain much interesting information about the recording and make very good reading if you are an avid Ella fan.The sound is amazing and nothing has been lost in the remastering of this album. I recommend this great CD for your Christmas entertaining this holiday and if you are alone at Christmas time and feeling a bit low,how about giving this album a spin to lift your spirits high. May I wish you joy and peace this Christmas and happy listening!
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on 24 May 2017
Always a firm favourite of mine.Ella never disappoints
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on 27 December 2015
As a fan would never mark Ella less than 3 out of 5 but I have better cd's of her songs.
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on 19 December 2012
Ella's xmas album ranks as one of the best of its kind: stylish arrangements from Frank DeVol, and Ella clearly enjoying herself immensely. To be honest you could listen to this at any time of year and have a ball with it. It's simply great music.
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The liner notes enthuse about Ella's love of children, although Ella didn't have any of her own and raised just one adopted child. It certainly seems that this album was recorded with children at least partly in mind, as most of the songs are of the festive variety, with a mix of tempos. If you want religious carols, you won't find them here except for a medley of We three kings / O little town of Bethlehem. Ella shows on this track that she could perform such material superbly, and it would have been great if she had recorded another Christmas album featuring some of them, but she didn't do that. Another song that seems to be an oddity in the context of the album is the Count Basie song, Good morning blues, but I can't fault Ella's performance.

Children and adults alike will surely enjoy Ella's versions of the many familiar songs that dominate this album. I was particularly pleased to find that Ella had recorded two slightly less familiar songs (in that fewer recordings of them have been made). They are Christmas Island, a song forever associated with the Andrews sisters, and The secret of Christmas, which was a fairly new song when Ella recorded it, but I first took notice of the song via the superb version by Julie Andrews. The other songs are VERY familiar, although the liner notes say that Ella included a rarely recorded verse in Santa Claus is coming to town. I didn't even know that the song had such a verse, although I have long known about the opening verse to White Christmas that isn't normally recorded, and it isn't included here either.

This excellent collection does not include all of Ella's Christmas music, because one song (Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney) recorded for a different record label (Decca) isn't included, but that track can be found elsewhere. Three songs are included both in their originally released form and as longer and slower alternate takes.

Recorded during 1959 and 1960, in between songbook projects at the peak of Ella's career, the songs are mostly of the familiar variety, which is what most people want at Christmas, but Ella's versions are among the best.
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on 3 December 2008
I bought this after a reccomendation from another reviewer and I have to say I'm not disappointed. I was already expecting alot from this, I mean Ella Fitzgerald could sing the telephone directory and it'd sound great.
This albun contains the usual Christmas standards, the best being Ellas version of "Have yourself a merry little Christmas". There are some other not as well known tracks too, including the excellant "The secret of Christmas". I must highlight Track 14 "(Medley) We 3 kings of Orient are / O Little town of Bethlehem", which in my opinion is worth the price of the CD alone!!

All in all, an excellant Christmas CD. Ideal for background music for a party or for getting comy on the sofa with your nearest and dearest with a glass or two of wine.
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on 15 January 2014
Growing up we listened to Ella's Swinging Christmas every year. My Dad's a jazz pianist and this was the best Xmas music around. It brings back so many happy memories and I was so excited to order this CD. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening and singing along to it. Ella has a magical voice and, along with the band/s playing, I defy anybody not to tap their feet and sing along.

A very happy purchase. Arrived very quickly too.
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on 21 March 2013
If you like Ella and Christmas then you will love this! I love having Christmas music but can't cope with the cheesy awful songs that come out every year. This is wonderful and jazzy and will have you swinging round the kitchen as you cook your turkey.
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on 13 December 2015
Decided to splash out on some new Christmas cd's this year, and this example from the wondrous Ella was a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.
There again, I am rather biased as I consider Ella one of the very greatest.
It is also nice to have a change from the traditional carols and pop songs.
Highly recommended.
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