Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sings Duke Ellington Song Book
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
The complete Ella Fitzgerald vocal sides from the celebrated 2-double LP set presenting her singing the music of Duke Ellington. The first CD of our edition contains the complete small group sides including Ben Webster, wh... more »
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The complete Ella Fitzgerald vocal sides from the celebrated 2-double LP set presenting her singing the music of Duke Ellington. The first CD of our edition contains the complete small group sides including Ben Webster, while the second has all of the big band numbers. Includes 16-page booklet
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Absolutely five star music, but a rip-off cd package
K. Swanson | Austin, TX United States | 01/03/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love Ella's Songbooks, especially the Rodgers/Hart, Cole Porter, Berlin, and above all this Ellington meeting.
The best meets the best right here, not only the whole band and Ella but also the trio sides on disc 2; Webster and Fitz fit perfectly, and to my ears are the only near-equal to the Billie/Prez duo in vocal/saxdom. OP is insanely great as always, and displays ears of gold in his accompaniment. And of course when the entire, incomparable Ellington ensemble is in full swing, with perhaps the finest jazz voice of them all floating above, that's about as close to jazz heaven as one can ask for.
I think this cd package is a real ripoff. My vinyl of these sets sounds warmer than these remasters, and cost much less than half as much many years ago. The extra cd of outtakes is indeed interesting but nothing you'd want to hear over and over, unlike the first two discs. All three for 51 is outrageous in my estimation, not because the music ain't superb, but because the record company is keeping most of that money!
Ellington's and Ella's estates are getting miniscule royalty rates on these songbook sets, yet the prices are far above the average jazz cd sets. It's not as if these were specialty items in small press-runs; Verve has one of the most reliably-moving catalogs of all jazz cds, especially the Ella stuff. To compare, the three-cd Bill Evans Village Vanguard set is 20, as are many other fine collections of the best jazz. 10 a disc seems fair; 17 does not, especially when one of the discs is outtakes.
I truly love this music, and have since I first heard it in the 70s as a kid. But I completely abhore the unmitigated greed of Verve's parent company Universal Music Group, who are a front for Vivendi, the mega-conglomerate from France who prove again and again how miserably greedy they are (as when they fired 5/6 of UMG's staff a few years back and dumped many of their best acts...as if Vivendi needs to cut costs!).
When Norman Granz started Verve he began a tradition of musician-friendly label-artist relations that became the industry standard. Vivendi is doing the exact opposite, cutting costs and artist development to the bone while greedily milking the catalogs of true music/musician lovers like Granz. Please note that they wouldn't let this set be discounted here. That's pure greed. I'm just glad I already have the vinyl of most of these songbooks so I don't need to pay these punks one thin dime. This is the sort of media monopoly that whines about "piracy" while being the biggest pirates of all.
I'm so glad I can hear all these cds by simply going to my library. As much as I love Ella's music, no way will I support a company like Vivendi, who go out of their way to both overcharge the consumer and underpay the musicians' heirs at every turn.
To those looking at buying this, I can only say that it's a good thing used cds tend to be in good shape."
Not to take away from the other Songbooks, but....
bobtec | Redlands, CA | 02/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...This is probably the best one of the complete songbooks. Sir Duke is the orchestra leader, and writes the songs; Quincy Jones is the aranger; and (in the words of Stevie Wonder) with a voice like Ella's ringin' out then that way the band could move.
Bottom line is, if you can't afford the complete songbook, this and the 3 "best of" songbooks is a very nice substitute (I'm not sure, but you may have a little over lap of songs but considering that Ben Webster, and Stuff Smith are on this album, not to mention Sir Duke himself, it's worth it). If you CAN afford the complete songbook, do it. The 16 CD set is definately worth it."
Mr. Gale P. Welch | Chicago, Illinois USA | 04/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You cannot go wrong choosing these two giants together for your collection. Get this without fail."