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This is the stuff dreams are made of – a true treasure has been uncovered and made available to the many generations of music lovers out there. (Yes! Even you kids who will never know what jazz is about). Way back in May 1961 and 1962, Ella Fitzgerald performed six nights each at a small […]

Luke Kenny Feb 11, 2011
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This is the stuff dreams are made of – a true treasure has been uncovered and made available to the many generations of music lovers out there. (Yes! Even you kids who will never know what jazz is about). Way back in May 1961 and 1962, Ella Fitzgerald performed six nights each at a small jazz club in Los Angeles called the Crescendo (just 200 seating) and it was recorded in its entirety. And these four discs contain those twelve magic nights that will live on in eternity.

Disc One begins with the introduction, which mentions other jazz artists who will be playing the club, before the host introduces Ella to an enthusiastic round of applause. She immediately launches into ‘Lover Come Back To Me’ a short swift ditty that quickly segues into ‘Too Close for Comfort’ and goes from one song to another as she begins to reach beyond the traditions that she has adhered to in her earlier work.

Ella has just begun to warm up now as she begins to lead us on an adventure into song and sound. The second disc features her taking on hit songs like, ‘A-Tisket A-Tasket,’ ‘It’s De-Lovely,’ ‘The Lady Is a Tramp,’ and a unconventional version of ‘Blue Moon’ (miles away from the familiar Elvis version) among the eighteen songs on this second disc.

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In 1962 Ella returned to the club for six more nights of music, choosing a set of tracks vastly different from her earlier set. In the year between Ella recorded and released six albums and some of that material finds itself here. ‘Love For Sale’ by Cole Porter, ‘Love is Here to Stay’ by George Gershwin, ‘Little Girl Blue’ by Rodgers and Hart. And you haven’t lived till you’ve heard her sing ‘Mack The Knife’ on this third disc.

By now the party is in full swing and Ella is on fire. Starting off with ‘All of Me’ the madness keeps coming at you in full power. Songs like ‘Broadway,’ ‘Hallelujah, I love Him So,’ ‘Angel Eyes,’ and ‘Bill Bailey’ among the twenty on this fourth disc are a testimony to the monumental epic-ness of Ella. And let me tell you, friends, no woman singer in history has ever brought joy and the meaning of what it is to be alive in a song, as has Ella Fitzgerald. These 77 recordings of timeless songs are a document to an intrinsic and indelible period in music history.

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