Saturday, May 20, 2006

19. Ella Fitzgerald - Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (1959)

Track Listing

1. Ambulatory Suite
2. Prelude
3. Sam And Delilah
4. But Not For Me
5. My One And Only
6. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
7. I've Got Beginner's Luck
8. Oh Lady Be Good
9. Nice Work If You Can Get It
10. Things Are Looking Up
11. Just Another Rumba
12. How Long Has This Been Going On
13. It's Wonderful
14. Man I Love
15. That Certain Feeling
16. By Strauss
17. Someone To Watch Over Me
18. Real American Folk Song Is A Rag
19. Who Cares
20. Looking For A Boy
21. They All Laughed
22. My Cousin In Milwaukee
23. Somebody From Somewhere
24. Foggy Day
25. Clap Yo' Hands
26. For You For Me For Evermore
27. Stiff Upper Lip
28. Boy Wanted
29. Strike Up The Band
30. Soon
31. I've Got A Crush On You
32. Bidin' My Time
33. Aren't You Kind Of Glad We Did
34. Of Thee I Sing
35. Half Of It Dearie Blues
36. I Was Doing All Right
37. He Loves And She Loves
38. Love Is Sweeping The Country
39. Treat Me Rough
40. Love Is Here To Stay
41. Slap That Bass
42. Isn't It A Pity
43. Shall We Dance
44. Love Walked In
45. You've Got What Gets Me
46. They Can't Take That Away From Me
47. Embraceable You
48. I Can't Be Bothered Now
49. Boy What Love Has Done To Me
50. Fascinating Rhythm
51. Funny Face
52. Lorelei
53. Oh So Nice
54. Let's Kiss And Make Up
55. I Got Rhythm
56. Somebody Loves Me
57. Cheerful Little Earful


Another year... we are fast approaching the 60's. And we start 1959 with the longest album I've ever listened to. So at about 3 hours and 15 minutes this is Ella Fitzgerald doing all the Gershwin songs. If you get the version with alternate takes it gets more towards the 4 hours and something. So yeah, pretty long. But fortunately you are bound to know at least one out of every 3 tracks anyway making it a nice thing to have playing around the house as it calls you attention back with each song you recognise. Yet, some of the most interesting tracks are those you don't know, an example of this is Treat Me Rough, about a rich girl who likes it rough...sure to ellicit a giggle from the more S&M crowd out there (props), and not well known because it's probably a bit too racy.

The songs are all of them fascinating, By Strauss pokes fun at George Gershwin himself, but the big standout songs are really some of the most famous, and Ella excells in all of the more swinging tracks. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off is particularly infectious and so is S'Wonderful or Fascinating Rhythm and I've Got Rhythm. While Billie Holiday has the most heartfelt voice and Sarah Vaughan the most perfect, Ella has the happiest and most swinging voice of them all. Even so the slower tracks like Embracable You and Someone To Watch Over Me are very well covered indeed.

Ella has done all the song books, the Rodger and Hammerstein, the Cole Porter, Irving Berlin so on and so forth. But her voice and her "swinginess" is much better suited to Gershwin than to any of the others. Although she is great in all of them, the Gershwin collection is definitely the superior one. If you can however buy Ella's Complete Songbooks, you can get it at ITunes for something like £120 or you can get the physical one for some hundreds... for 900 and something minutes of music... or maybe don't.

It is a great album, but overly long, something good to have on the background, and you will from time to time prick up your ears, other than that it is very pleasant indeed and if you want to have a complete colection of Gershwin songs this is the one to get. If I have a gripe with it, it's the fact that it's a bit overly long, you never connect that much with the album because you take 4 hours to listen to it. You can get it at Itunes.

Or buy it at Amazon: UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
2. Treat Me Rough
3. They Can't Take That Away From Me
4. But Not For Me

Final Grade



I didn't realize our songs were so good until Ella sang them." - Ira Gershwin

No relation to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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