|All Artists: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Anita O'Day, Blossom Dearie, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Natalie Cole|
Title: Ultimate Diva Collection: The Diva Series
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 5/20/2003
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Cool Jazz, Modern Postbebop, Smooth Jazz, Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Bebop, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
The word diva may not be easy to define, but the great divas are easy to recognize. Here are sixteen of the greatest -- from Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to Astrud Gilberto and Natalie Cole -- captured in peak form, in performances that were recorded as long ago as 1954 and as recently as 2001, but that in their dramatic impact and depth of feeling are truly timeless. This CD is part of Verve's Diva series dedicated to the greatest female jazz vocalists and their greatest songs.
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Lullaby Of Birdland--and sweet lullabies from songbirds, too
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ultimate Diva Collection: The Diva Series may not be complete but it sure does do a fine job with the material it offers us! I wish they had added a song or two to make this more substantial; but the sound quality is good and I like that artwork, too.
Ella Fitzgerald, The First lady Of Song, gives us a live track of "How High The Moon." "How High The Moon" charms me completely when Ella sings this; she could sing the phone book and when Ella was done you'd be applauding and cheering for more! "How High The Moon" is a huge highlight of this CD; and Ella scats wonderfully, too. Sarah Vaughan also weighs in with "Lullaby Of Birdland;" this too has always been a favorite of mine and Sarah Vaughan certainly does this one up right! Sarah never misses a beat and the jazzy arrangement works wonders for this ballad! Dinah Washington also scores a hit with her fine interpretation of "Teach Me Tonight." Dinah's voice sounds great--and just one listen will tell you why Dinah Washington is one of my favorite songbirds!
Billie Holiday contributes a fine rendition of "Body And Soul;" Billie Holiday's voice sounds a bit more mature on this track but make no mistake about it--Billie still gives a brilliant performance. Terrific! Carmen McRae also makes good on "You Took Advantage Of Me." I first heard "You Took Advantage Of Me" is a tune I first heard in Judy Garland's version of A Star Is Born; but when Carmen McRae sings it this ballad still sounds new and fresh to my ears! Blossom Dearie also delivers a sensitive rendition of "Someone To Watch Over Me." "Someone To Watch Over Me" starts with Blossom Dearie performing a rarely heard opening verse; and when the actual songs starts Blossom Dearie makes this number take flight! "Someone To Watch Over Me" always tugs at my heartstrings when I hear it.
Astrud Gilberto, with her usual ever-so-slightly-flat-yet awesome voice, sings "Fly Me To The Moon" with panache and it all works very well. The jazzy, bossa nova arrangement for "Fly Me To The Moon" has a very sophisticated sound to it and this is a major highlight of this CD. Etta James also does a great job on "A Sunday Kind Of Love." Etta belts this out just as good as the best of the belters ever could--and this impresses me greatly.
Helen Merrill also does "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" with heart and soul--and I love that horn treatment! Helen Merrill never sings a superfluous note and her voice is an instrument that sounds so very fine! The CD also closes with "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" performed by Ernestine Anderson; Ernestine sings this with grace and style. It truly gives us a strong ending for this exceptional album.
Ultimate Diva Collection: The Diva Series could have been more complete but because what we do get is so good I will give this four stars anyway. This is one CD fans of these songbirds would never want to pass by.