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Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book
Ella Fitzgerald
Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #2

2009 two CD set including bonus tracks. Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook series of albums are rightly famed as being some of the greatest vocal Jazz ever and The Irving Berlin Songbook is one of the best. Featured in its entiret...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ella Fitzgerald
Title: Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1958
Re-Release Date: 11/14/2000
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 731454383028


Album Description
2009 two CD set including bonus tracks. Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook series of albums are rightly famed as being some of the greatest vocal Jazz ever and The Irving Berlin Songbook is one of the best. Featured in its entirety along with bonus tracks, this edition contains 38 glorious tracks. Jazz Manifesto.

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CD Reviews

Defining American Music
John P Bernat | Kingsport, TN USA | 09/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Irving Berlin's music, performed as originally written, does not sound at all like it would "fit" Ella's style.

But it does.

In fact, Ella's interpretation of these classics just about defines uniquely American music. I was so taken with my "personal discovery" of these classics, and this collection finds and displays only the very, very best.

You'll love it, and wonder how you could claim to understand American music before you've given it a thorough hearing."
Chip | St. Helena Island, SC | 06/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am neither an audiophile nor an expert on Irving Berlin and Ella Fitzgerald. I simply know what I like and I like this CD a whole lot! No disappointments here!!"
Through Irving to Ella
Sasha | at sea...sailing somewhere | 04/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a strange marriage,this,and how wonderful it all worked out at the end - producer Norman Granz (should we call him "Granz the uncanny"?) had vision about introducing Ella over to non-jazz,mainstream audience and succeeded with series of now-classic "songbook" albums.Eight of these albums,recorded between 1956 to 1964 placed Fitzgerald at the top of her game and into pantheon of the best singers US had to offer - not only they did wonders for Fitzgerald herself who was singing novelties ("Chew chew chew your bubble gum") for "Decca" just a few years earlier,but they also standard of how tribute albums should be done,became beloved best-sellers for decades and brought new shine on old songs by composers who welcomed touch of her magic.
True,it has been said that Norman Granz became obsessed with "Songbook" idea and simply recorded everything by certain composer,without considering does Fitzgerald actually understand the words or not (there were some funny outtakes out of Gershwin sessions that showed this) and I must say that too often I find Fitzgerald singing "pretty" but floating in a cloud and probably not having a clue what's actually going on - she was focused on music and melody,lyrics were never her forte - in fact,all that wicked Cole Porter sparks went in one ear and out on the other where she was concerned.
That is why Irving Berlin suits her much,much better - this skinny little russian jew immigrant made name for himself as a "populist" composer (in other words,not cool,not in the jet set league of Cole Porter or Gershwins, his lyrics not witty but simple and effective) and out of necessity he was his own best lyricist who wrote hits for decades - and music for Hollywood movies and Broadway (I have really strong suspicion he simply wouldn't pay anybody and wrote lyrics himself but that might also be a working technique).Because at certain bottom point,Fitzgerald and Berlin had more in common than Cole Porter and his champaigne drinking friends,they meet in a friendly and respectful distance - she clearly loves singing his songs and the man was pleased with her comforting care,the way some old stuff suddenly became illuminated again when uplifted to stars with these heavenly arrangements and voice.
(The only odd step is "Alexander's Ragtime Band" that starts mockingly and than turns to swing,it is actually very important song for composer,being Berlin's first hit in 1911. but I can imagine someone saying "Gee,what can we do with such old song,let's have fun with it" and singer hams it up like its "A tisket,a tasket" because after all,she grew up singing novelties)
Strangely enough I didn't like Fitzgerald up to this point - I listened Billie Holiday and through the years decided that Fitzgerald has no clue what she sings about,she had pretty uninvolved voice and that with her everything sounds same. Than one day I ended up with this album on a ship crossing Atlantic so I had to better like it since I was in the middle of the ocean and the reason why I bought it was Irving Berlin whom I find fascinating. (Other people had discovered Irving Berlin through Ella Fitzgerald,for me it was the other way around) At the end of the long day I would listen this and you know,I would melt,relax,float and actually had to admit that there's nothing wrong with Fitzgerald - her version of "How about me?" is actually very moving - so I had to re-think everything,gave lady a chance and I'm glad I did.
Decades after its initial release,this superb album tribute to Irving Berlin still sparks,thanks to talents involved and high level of performance."