Top Artists – Ella Fitzgerald

The Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald – Four More that Didn’t Make the Grade

xxxxx

xxxxx

The above album is not so good in mono, just fine in stereo.

xxxxx

xxxxx

These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we’ve auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.    

Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.    

Ella Fitzgerald – Sings The George Gershwin Song Book

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Sings The George Gershwin Song Book

xxx

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

White Hot sound on side two of this original copy – shockingly good. Ella sounds rich, Tubey Magical and breathy — this is a real Demo Disc. Side one is very good as well, nicely warm and rich by track two. Nelson Riddle’s arrangements are especially interesting and artful throughout. 

It is our opinion that the mono takes all the fun out of the Nelson Riddle’s deliberately wide, spacious orchestral presentation surrounding Ella. Which is too bad: the mono pressings are five times as common as the stereo ones. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – Newport Jazz Festival Live at Carnegie Hall – Reviewed in 2007

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Newport Jazz Festival Live at Carnegie Hall

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This is a very good sounding live album, recorded when Ella Fitzgerald could still sing. Most of her stuff for Pablo which followed this leaves much to be desired in my opinion. This album is certainly not the equal of her best work from the ’60s, but I’m guessing it’s better than anything she did after this.

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Porgy & Bess

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Louis Armstrong

More Porgy & Bess

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

WOW! Triple Plus (A+++) sound on ALL FOUR SIDES for this Ella & Louis classic. This copy sold for $850 and we think it was worth every penny — it blew our minds! 

The sound is big, open, rich and full, with the performers front and center. Ella and Louis are no longer representations — they’re living, breathing persons. We call that “the breath of life,” and this original stereo pressing has it in spades. 

Their voices are so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – The Best of Ella Fitzgerald – Reviewed in 2005

 

More Ella Fitzgerald

More The Best of Ella Fitzgerald

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Two Minty looking Deccalite Pink Label Promo LPs.

This is the best of Ella’s Decca material recorded between 1938 – 1955, the songs that made her a star.

For those of you who don’t know what Deccalite is, Deccalite is a material that Decca invented as an alternative to vinyl. It’s quieter than vinyl as a rule — and these pressings are extremely quiet — but it is not unbreakable. If you wack this record against a chair, it will shatter into pieces like an old 78. But most audiophiles takes good care of their records, so the risk of breaking an album like this is extremely small.

Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Swings Lightly

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Ella Swings Lightly

xxx

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Exceptionally lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by our man, Marty Paich. Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo – these were the days when Ella was on top of the world.

When you are lucky enough to find a album that sounds as good as this one, full of standards from the Great American Songbook, you cannot help but recognize that this era for Ella will never be equaled, by her or anyone else. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – Sings the Harold Arlen Song Book #2

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Sings the Harold Arlen Song Book #2

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The first Harold Arlen Song Book to hit the site, and with sound like this it’s going to be very hard to beat. White Hot on side two, Super Hot on side one, Ella is especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy throughout. Look at the great songs on Volume 2: Come Rain Or Come Shine, It’s Only A Paper Moon, One For My Baby, Get Happy, I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, Over The Rainbow and more.  

The vinyl is about as quiet and scratch-free as we ever come across on these early stereo pressings. Even with us hitting multiple stores every week we have trouble finding even one clean copy of an album like this a year.

But we found this one, and it won our shootout. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – The Johnny Mercer Song Book

More Ella Fitzgerald

More The Johnny Mercer Song Book

xxx

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The huge, rich orchestral sound captured so beautifully by Val Valentin is always one of the many highlights to be found on the songbook series. By the time this album came out in 1964 Ella had already recorded 18 LPs worth of songbooks – this was the last, going out on a high note. Some of the Mercer Classics here are Too Marvelous For Words, Day In – Day Out, Laura, Skylark, Midnight Sun, I Remember You.  

When you are lucky enough to find a album that sounds as good as this one, full of standards from the Great American Songbook, you cannot help but recognize that this era for Ella will never be equaled, by her or anyone else.

The recording is outstanding, with huge amounts of space and midrange richness that might just take your breath away. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – Ella At Duke’s Place

 

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Ella At Duke’s Place

xxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

We have a very hard time doing the famous Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks due to the fact that so many pressings don’t sound good, and the ones that do sound good are usually noisy.

That’s why it came as a pleasant surprise that Ella At Duke’s Place had the potential for excellent sound and reasonably quiet vinyl on the best copies.

We hope to do more in the future but with the reissues from the ’70s being mostly awful and the originals being harder and harder to find we are not at all sanguine about our chance of success. (more…)

Ella Fitzgerald – Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book – Reviewed in 2005

More Ella Fitzgerald

More Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book

xxxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is a very nice looking Verve Strobe Label Double LP. The quality of the sound changes here not only from side to side but from track to track. We dropped the needle on various songs on each side and side three had the best sounding songs we heard. Every side had some great sounding songs, some with tubey magic and breathy vocals. How About Me and Cheek to Cheek on side two sound particularly good.  

AMG Review

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… For fans who have enjoyed other songbook recordings, this is a must-have; for those unfamiliar with Fitzgerald’s songbook work, this is an excellent place to start.