AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Verve - MG VS-6005-2 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition - Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook - Ella Fitzgerald & Paul Weston and his orchestra
Sonically offers greater dynamics, clarity and immediacy compared to the original this set is highly recommended, though neither version would be considered a sonic spectacular: the early stereo recording is merely very good, with glints of greatness. Analogue Planet Michael Fremmer
While the Gershwin song book gets most of the attention, Berlin and Ella were probably a better musical match and this set will never cease to brighten your day.
It was a long road for the composer Irving Berlin: beginning with "Alexander’s Ragtime Band" in 1911, leading him on via "Cheek To Cheek", right up to "Change Partners" in 1938 - it was one success after another. The once-heard, never-forgotten tunes found in the musicals "Follow The Fleet" and "Puttin’ On The Ritz" were simple little songs - taken from life itself. And Ella’s interpretations are just as simple and straightforward, while the arranger Paul Weston held back his soloists too. With the Irving Berlin Songbook, an album has been created in which the small variations on well-known melodies (such as "Cheek To Cheek" and "How Deep Is The Ocean") can be truly appreciated, and magical moments or lesser known songs discovered or hummed along to ("I Used To Be Color Blind" and "Lazy"). But this is also an album which mirrors the history of the Broadway musical in the 1920s and ’30s, the majority of which were written by the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and a good many of them by Irving Berlin.
Nobody knew the tricks of the entertainment trade better than Ella: not only a brilliant scat singer, she was also the very best interpreter of the ballad. And should you need any proof of this, just listen to any song contained within this Songbook (my tip: "Reaction For The Moon" and "Always"). Ella’s capability of giving a new interpretation to Irving Berlin’s songs doesn’t end there, however. The "Song Is Ended" and "Heat Wave" are rare jewels of swing against which singers right up to the present day are measured.
Just why should you buy this particular Songbook? There are two simple reasons: to listen to Ella’s voice and her immense variety is sheer pleasure, and Irving Berlin’s songs offer pure entertainment at the highest level.
It is difficult to know where to begin when approaching an artist as wonderful as Ella Fitzgerald, especially when covering a revered recording like Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book from the late '50s. This set includes 32 songs chosen from Berlin's collection of nearly 800 songs. These selections are perfectly suited for Fitzgerald's voice and her romantic sensibility; they are happy, occasionally sad, and full of swinging rhythm. A few of these songs -- "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "Blue Skies" -- will be most familiar; others, "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails," "Russian Lullaby," and "All By Myself" are as memorable but perhaps less known.
Choices like "Isn't This a Lovely Day?" feature everything a listener would want in a song: intelligent lyrics, memorable melodies, and a strong emotional center. To say that Fitzgerald is in good voice for these recordings would be an understatement; her presentation here is simply regal. It should be pointed out that these two- and three-minute tunes are tightly arranged, and don't allow the freedom of extended scat singing as on Ella in Berlin. The arrangements are also lovely, featuring the tasteful support of Paul Weston & His Orchestra, which never overpowers Fitzgerald. Such songs as "Cheek to Cheek" and "How Deep Is the Ocean?" -- the standards that once dominated singers' repertoires -- seem absent from today's musical scene. That may be unfortunate, but they continue to live healthy lives in recordings like this one
. For fans who have enjoyed other songbook recordings, this reissue is a must-have; for those unfamiliar with Fitzgerald's songbook work, this is an excellent place to start.
1. Let’s Face The Music And Dance
2. You’re Laughing At Me
3. Let Yourself Go
4. You Can Have Him
5. Russian Lullaby
6. Puttin’ On The Ritz
7. Get Thee Behind Me Satan
8. Alexander’s Ragtime Band
9. Top Hat, White Tie And Tails
10. How About Me
11. Cheek To Cheek
12. I Used To Be Color Blind
14. How Deep Is The Ocean (How High Is The Sky)
15. All By Myself
18. How’s Chances
19. Heat Wave
20. Isn’t This A Lovely Day
21. You Keep Coming Back Like A Song
22. Reaching For The Moon
23. Slumming On Park Avenue
24. The Song Is Ended
25. I’m Puttin’ All My Eggs In One Basket
26. Now It Can Be Told
28. It’s A Lovely Day Today
29. Change Partners
30. No Strings (I’m Fancy Free)
31. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm