Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jukebox Ella: The Complete Verve Singles 1 (Dig)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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ELLA : A SINGLE-ULAR SENSATION!
Giovanni | Chicago, IL | 10/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This long awaited collection of Ella's Verve singles, is, as my fellow reviewer has stated, the most welcome addition to any Ella fan anywhere. The rare tracks included here are, for the most part, being issued on CD for the very first time. Liner notes tell us the old familiar story of how Ella and Verve stalwart Norman Granz's relationship came to be, and only lightly touch on the contents of this superb 2 disc package, but kudos to the researchers who have provided the info they could along with the track listings (I will offer my own suggestions on only two that were labeled with the frustrating "personnel unknown" label. But on to the music! All the tracks are remastered and are absolutely beautiful sounding. The touching THE SUN FORGOT TO SHINE THIS MORNING may remind listeners of Ella's Decca side "I Didn't Mean A Word I Said" with it's sorrowful and wistful strains. A definite torch song that should have been out there for us to enjoy years ago, The majority of the tracks being recorded in Hollywood, the players here are all well known and abet Ella wonderfully, as they did for all her sessions with them that we know of. Buddy Bregman conducted this crack orchestra session on this track with the likes of Harry "Sweets" Edison, Pete Candoli, Paul Smith, Milt Bernhart, Ted Nash and Barney Kessel, to mention only a few. (Most of these musicians worked with anyone who was anyone in Hollywood during this era, most notably the orchestras of Billy May and Nelson Riddle.) Bregman also contributed charts for the rare gem A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP (recorded during the Cole Porter sessions, although not a Porter tune) and the sly THE SILENT TREATMENT, among others on disc one. While one can do without the novelty tunes like HOTTA CHOCOLATTA, the smug YOUR RED WAGON gives us a little lesson in life, and swings rather well. True Ella fans were just glad she left most of the novelty tunes behind her when she left Decca. And if you can call the Gershwins novelty tune writers, let me cast a vote for their charming I'M A POACHED EGG. The flipside of this when it was recorded was another Gershwin tune, ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. My assumption from listening to these wonderful charts on these two particular tunes is that they were orchestrated by Nelson Riddle (and Nelson and Ella were working together at this time on GENTLY and BRIGHTLY LPs) Just a suggestion for you to ponder when you listen. THE RINGO BEAT, on the other hand, is first class schmaltz but Ella did write it, and we love her so, so you be the judge! (I vote to cut her some slack) The second disc starts with a heartfelt reading of the obscure Van Heusen & Cahn song THE SECRET OF CHRISTMAS, orchestrated by West Coast arranger Russell Garcia. It's as stunning as it is unknown. Do not miss it. I'M FALLIN' IN LOVE is another attempt at being hip, and I guess it goes over considering the era and considering the singer herself. The sad surprise was Gordon Jenkins' otherwise uninspired arrangement of the classic Fain-Webster-Mandel penned THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE. He didn't provide Ella with the support say of Marty Paich or another arranger, and it kind of shows. Ella's singing is fine, it's just a sub-par arrangement, but nevertheless a gem to finally have on CD. Borrowing from the original Brenda Lee hit sound arrangement, Ella juices up the old chestnut MY ECHO, MY SHADOW AND ME with fairly good results; multi-tracking sound worked well for Andy Williams around this time, but the jury's still out on it working for Ella. You can decide. The sentiment is there, that's for sure. I have only touched on this collections' high points in my opinion but like all Ella fans, I'm certain you will thoroughly enjoy exploring these undiscovered classics and also like this reviewer, anxiously await the (slated) second (and final) installation of this series of one of the most beloved singer's Verve singles. We love you Ella, and we love UMG Verve for FINALLY answering our call!"
At Long Last! The Singles!
City Of Evanston | EVANSTON, IL United States | 10/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ella recorded a lot of singles during her Verve years and many of
them were never even on LP so this compilation is most welcome.
Her first recordings for the label were singles with Buddy Bregman
conducting. For years we have had ESSENTIAL, PURE, IMCOMPARABLE
and other recyclings so this is a great set. I understand the
next volume will comprise singles that were part of albums and
I will be glad to have that also. Ella's Verve years were her
greatest and these singles are a welcome addition to the Ella
Worth the Wait!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To me, Ella embodies artistry and is the standard by which all other singers are judged. I thought I'd heard the best Ella had to offer until Jukebox Ella arrived on Friday. Many unknown songs (to me at least) that became instant favorites. I found myself dancing around the house, grinning ear to ear and loving every note, every nuance, every Ella moment."