Search - Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie :: A Classy Pair

A Classy Pair
Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie
A Classy Pair
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie
Title: A Classy Pair
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Pablo
Release Date: 10/11/1991
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 025218013222, 090204021079, 4005888001626

CD Reviews

(5 out of 5 stars)

"One problem I've always had with Ella's songbooks, although considered her greatest musical achievement, is that she sang the songs, with the exception of the Duke Ellington songbook, too straight, too serious. It was in her later Pablo work, as in her earlier work on Decca, that she spent a good many recordings bebopping, jamming, and scatting, the kind of stuff Ella laid claim to. This album with Count Basie and his orchestra is exemplary of her propensity to lighten up her performances and have a good time delivering her lines. Her voice, thicker with more vibratto, is actually more interesting than the clear, girlish voice she sang with throughout her earlier life. She scats through "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Ain't Misbehavin", and swings the usually slow "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You". Her voice is still clear, her style and rhythm is still unparalleled, and she swings and swings and swings. If "Fine and Mellow" is her best work of the 70's, this one is right behind it. A great CD for fans of swing and scat and of course, Ella."
"If A Shooting Star Goes By . . . I'll Use That Star To Writ
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 01/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Basie's band makes me feel free. It's so easy to get ideas when you have a sound like that behind you. He's the easiest, sweetest man in the world to work for. He treats me so kindly - he gives me advice. When we're together it's like a happy family." ~ Ella Fitzgerald ~

"The ambiance that prevails during a session such as this is marked by a total lack of ego displays and a complete mutual awareness of the artistic ethos involved on the part of everyone involved. The highest compliment that can be paid Ella and Basie is that they deserve each other's company. ~ Leonard Feather ~

It's always been a delightful experience listening to "a classy pair" of jazz icons, Ella Fitzgerald as she sings her heart out and Count Basie as he plays with so much verve. I have also enjoyed Ella & Duke at the Côte D'Azur as much as I have enjoyed this dynamic CD, "A Classy Pair," recorded in 1979 in Los Angeles, CA and produced by Norman Granz under Pablo Records. Backing Ella are Count Basie (piano) and His Orchestra, Ray Brown and John Clayton (bass), Pete Minger, Sonny Cohn, Nolan Smith (trumpets), Mel Wanzo, Bill Hughes, Booty Wood, Dennis Wilson (trombones), Bobby Plater, Danny Turner, Kenny Hing, Eric Dixon, Charlie Fowlkes (saxophones), Freddie Green (guitar) and Butch Miles (drums).

"Less is more" applies to this recording with only nine tracks and a total running time of forty minutes and eighteen seconds, but each song is an enjoyable listen. There's never a dull moment. Ella is singin' and swingin' to the dashing Big Band arrangements by Benny Carter and terrific instrumentation of Count Basie and his fantastic group of musicians while being true and faithful to the very essence of each song. Of course, she's not afraid to reveal her emotions, and that's a sublime indication of a true-blue, full-blooded artist. She's not delivering these songs under a cloak. She's not afraid to tell the listeners . . . This is Ella, the confident and classy singer, the First Lady of Song! She's simply swingin' elegantly and she "Ain't Misbehavin'!"

Be ready to swing and jive with Ella as she sings the most danceable and longest track, "Organ Grinder's Swing," in the most exuberant arrangement and zesty rendition. Then she slows it down with a charming rendition of "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," and swings to her heart's delight in "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "Honeysuckle Rose," which shows off her effortless scat singing.

My top choice from this collection is a song composed by Gene de Paul and penned by a favorite lyricist of mine, Sammy Cahn, "Teach Me Tonight." I first heard this song from one of my late father's collection of LPs sang by Jo Stafford, a great singer whom Ella also admired. She recorded it in the early fifties and became a big hit and a bestselling record.

"The sky's a blackboard high above you
If a shooting star goes by
I'll use that star to write 'I Love You'
A thousand times across the sky"

I most definitely recommend this remarkable CD to jazz lovers. You really can't say no to it. Add it to your best-dressed jazz collection, now.