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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Gershwin Songbook

Ella Fitzgerald

1959

The Gershwin Songbook

Album Summary

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book is a box set by American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald that contains songs by George and Ira Gershwin with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. It was produced by Norman Granz, Fitzgerald's manager and the founder of Verve Records. Fifty-nine songs were recorded in the span of eight months in 1959. It is one of the eight album releases comprising what is possibly Fitzgerald's greatest musical legacy: Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Complete American Songbook, in which she recorded, with top arrangers and musicians, a comprehensive collection of both well-known and obscure songs from the Great American Songbook canon, written by the likes of Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer. Fitzgerald's recording of "But Not for Me" won the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Female.Ira Gershwin subsequently said that "I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them". Gershwin helped Fitzgerald, Granz and Riddle with the selection of songs. The songs were written by Ira and his brother George between 1924 and 1937. Ira also revised some of his lyrics for the album. Granz memorably suggested that Fitzgerald sing "Oh, Lady Be Good!" as a slow ballad rather than the fast tempo version which had become renowned as a showcase for her scat singing.In 2000 it was voted number 473 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.The French painter Bernard Buffet created five paintings that were used as artworks for the five individual LPs that made the original album release. The liner notes were written by Laurence D. Stewart. The album was released in mono and stereo. The mono album was priced at $25 (equivalent to $232 in 2021) and the stereo at $30 (equivalent to $279 in 2021). A deluxe edition was also available priced at $100 (equivalent to $930 in 2021). The deluxe set was packaged in a walnut box, with the five Buffet paintings issued as detachable lithographs. Stewart's liner notes were included as a separate hardback book, The Gershwins: Words Upon Music.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.62

Votes

5392

Genres

  • Jazz
Reviews
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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

There's just something transcendental about Ella Fitzgerald and her voice. It's music that captures a place, a feeling, an entirely different time period. So beautiful.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
1

This is some kind of protest vote, and for a few reasons. 1) By all means, slap a 5/5 on your review, but know this: I see you. I know it sounds high-brow and classical and you feel helpless in its presence. "Aw gee, I mean... shit... it's so prestigious." I get it. But I also see you. Grow a spine. 2) Where are the other compilations in this book? Why have I got to listen to Little Richard and James Brown and Buddy Holly studio albums, and pretend they're representative of the best those acts could produce, when I could be listening to far superior comps? I don't accept this as the exception. 3) It's over three hours. That's only allowable for 'Star Time'.

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Sat Dec 19 2020
5

I was unsure about how good three hours of music by one composer and for one voice could be. Add to that my appreciation for this era of music but general distrust of magical language about artistic periods. Well, I was utterly wrong. There's something special here, some kind of everyday magic. And now I have a standard for comparing vocals to bells.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Ella’s voice is timeless, and this was just a warmly voiced album to have on during winter.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Ella Fitzgerald is simply the best. I didn't listen to the full 3-hour version, but the Best Of album gave me the highlights. I'm going to imagine myself in a classic film with this playing in the background now.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
3

0:00:30 (01) Wow this is Tom and Jerry-ish 0:01:30 (01) This is surprisingly listenable for me. Not a fan of jazz but I have a big hope that I'll enjoy this one. 0:07:23 (02) That was pretty good. Only 72 songs left... 0:10:40 (02) *yawns* 0:12:20 (02) Since the 4th disc is just a bunch of alternate takes, I will skip that. Only 57 tracks then, let's hope that we will reach track 57. 0:14:20 (03) Wow vocals! Love that voice, that type of singing always take me to the '50s despite the fact that I wasn't even born during those times. 0:22:53 (05) I wonder why this literal compilation album is chosen for the list. Not that it's bad, it's just H U G E. It has an expected fair share of "eh" tracks, like this one. 0:26:32 (06) Lmao the '50s have at least a couple of weird pop songs too. 0:30:51 (07) That voice does better in the ballads. The pop-ish songs are not my jam. 0:33:18 (08) Just kidding. This one is ballad is it's boring. 0:36:05 (09) I'm considering giving up rn. But let's hold on for a bit. 0:37:35 (09) My favorite Beatles album, "Revolver" is considered one of the best and most influential albums of all time. And it's only 35 minutes long. I mean, I'm just thinking that if this is a rock album, then today's listen is finished now. 0:41:45 (10) I mean hiphop albums are usually 70-ish minutes. And that's why they're usually challenging as a listen for me. Oh wait, I'm still listening to an album right now? Lmao I almost forgot. 0:44:21 (11) It's incredible to think that I'm barely 25% into the album as of now. 0:45:11 (11) Love this track and its instrumental break though. 0:52:15 (13) Wonderful track indeed. Woke me up at the moment. 0:57:47 (14) *yaaaaaawwwnnn* "The Wall" is another album that I love. It's 81 plus minutes long. At this time, Pink is probably going Nazi already. 1:00:00 (15) Achievement unlocked: BOOMER MUSIC OVERDOSE (Listen to non-stop '50s pop-jazz music for an hour) 1:04:06 (16) Should I take a break after disc 1 or is it cheating? 1:09:22 (18) Wow, ragtime aint it? Pretty neat way to end a disc. 1:13:36 (19) Yes, "who cares" indeed. Who cares if this is their "very best" or "most influential". Who cares if I didn't finish this album and rated it anyway? 1:26:28 (23) I figuuuuuured ouuuuuutt thaat lissteniiiing to someoneeeee singiiiiiiiing liiiike thiiiiiisssss maakess me sleeeeepppyy.... 1:37:14 (26) This one's pretty good. 1:42:25 (28) Is this really an album one should listen to before they die? I mean three hours of old music is a unique experience. But is it worth it? Does it provide a whole new way to experience music? Is it a good experience? 1:44:20 (29) The 21st Century Fox theme plays and I thought, maybe Is should put an end on this self imposed torture. So now I will raise the white flag and end this madness... 1:46:22 (29) [Game over]; Mission: Listen to it from cover to cover [Failed]; Mission: At least listen to the first three discs [Failed]; Mission: Appreciate the music despite the ridiculous length of this album [Failed]; Mission: At least appreciate Ella Fitzgerald's beautiful voice [Accomplished].

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

Man, how do you begin to appraise this. It's 3 hours long, for starters. It also represents multiple huge bodies of work (i.e. Ella Fitzgerald's, but the Gershwin bros' too). I've got the 1990 Verve edition, which crams it onto 3 CDs... but even then, this is not a regular triple-album. It's a monolith. Maybe I'm an idiot, because I always vaguely thought this was an anthology collecting some previous Gershwin records by Fitzgerald. But in this case, the collection is the original. It was a 5 LP boxset release. The deluxe version originally cost $100, which is something like $900 in today's money. I'm now even more impressed, at the ambition of the project, and the fact that there was no compromise on quality at this scale. When you consider that Fitzgerald had multiple other albums released in 1959 and 1960, the whole thing is fucking insane. Unlike some of those other albums, I don't think the idea here was "here is Ella's rendition of some famous songs", but rather "here are the definitive versions of a modern canon". And it achieves that aim completely. Anyhow, the songs are gorgeous, and they suit Fitzgerald's voice amazingly. This is Ella at her best, showcasing the Gershwins in their best light. To me, the quality of the music is beyond reproach. On the other hand, there's no getting away from the fact that it's not an album in the contemporary sense, and it makes for a weird listening experience. It would be more enjoyable to just listen to the 15 best tracks, but that's not really the point, since this is deliberately a monolithic document. Do you listen to individual tracks, or sit through 3 hours straight? Or do you recreate the original 5 LPs, and do one at a time? It doesn't ultimately matter, because it's perfection however you play it. So, not really an album... but rated as an album? 5/5. And as a seminal document of American music, and an essential touchstone of twentieth-century culture? 5/5. It's kinda stupid to say a celebrated recording is underrated - but this is underrated... in that it's one of the most important set of recordings ever made, and the discussion it receives in most quarters isn't equal to its sheer skill, beauty, scale, ambition, and contribution to culture.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Well I’m a huge fan of Ella now. Solid album from top to bottom.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

Billie Holiday is a little too glissando for me, generally, but Ella… Ella… Ms. Fitzgerald always gets it right for me. Stunning. 5 stars every single day and twice on Sundays. Thank you ma’am. Soulful and warm, or playful and coquettish, Ella nails it. Not to mention a natural gift for rhythm and scat-singing (she basically invented it. That’s reductive perhaps, but it may as well be true)

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

One of the greatest voices of the 20th century singing songs by one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. There's really nothing to dislike here. Not a damn thing.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
2

It's nice. I mean, it's great. It's Ella Fitzgerald. It's lovely. It's proficient, adept, and sets the mood. It's fantastic background music. Maybe that's the point, you take your mistress to a lounge, eat some steak, and grab her thigh while the music tries to be as unobtrusive as possible. Not sure what to rate it.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Benjamin

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

I’m biased, I love playing Gershwin on piano and having Ella Fitzgerald sing to all of these songs I already knew makes the music even better

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Ella’s voice is absolutely dessert for the ears, the arrangements are top notch, and you can’t hate on classics from the American Songbook. I had an internal struggle with my desire to rate this a 5. Usually I like albums that are one complete experience; something meant as a one-sitting treat. But this is like a full gallon of premium ice cream. Should I fault it for being larger than it’s pint-sized cousins simply because it won’t fit into one bowl? For this album, I don’t think so. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” is still a trash song though and I stand by that lol.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
5

Coming straight after a 2 hour album that I could not finish (that country one) comes this 3 hour long gem. Sadly I could not find the time to listen to it in one sit so I had to do it across three days but damn this is listenable, how great and full of amazing moments this is. At many points I found myself thinking "damn I need this on vinyl". It's all about the production, it’s all about the treatment and respect for the performer, Ella is outstanding and the producers let her flourish. Remember that Tina Turner record that with the hideous production? Well, they could have use listening to this to learn how to extol the performer. No need to say I really loved this one.

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Tue Feb 15 2022
5

Ella's voice is enchanting, and the songs compliment her voice beautifully. This album felt like a comfy dream that I didn't want to wake up from. Will definitely be listening to this album again.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

This music makes me feel like im about to tell the woman I love to get on a plane to help fight the nazis. The version in the book though is a 3 hour long boxset As much as I enjoyed this, 3 hours is way too much, so my rating is for whats linked to spotify rather than whats in the book

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

Exactly the kind of album I would not have listened to for much of my life and is the benefit of this exercise. Big band / jazz singing was something I really didn't appreciate (like) growing up so this is a relatively new genre for me... ...but who hasn't heard of Ella Fitzgerald? I think the thing I appreciate most right way is how good this sounds - 1959?? Getting a full orchestra sounding this good and clear while blending with Ella's perfect voice had to be a crazy challenge. I'm usually more turned off than on by singing but her voice is truly perfect - there's a clarity and casual vibe to the way she sang that could probably never be taught - how do you learn to lay back on the beat like this and yet nail it so perfectly? It would be an insult to call her singing effortless but therein lies the genius talent I suppose, that she sounds like she could have been told "Ella! quick, sing this song" and she would have cut it on a first take then been on her way. And perhaps that casual-yet-perfect delivery is the reason that millions of people thought/think they could sing like her. (where's my mother-in-law...? ha) Now... the entire album is 3 hours long. Hello. Wayy too much. Then again, where am I gonna go - I'm listening on work time and this is actually perfect working music. I'm not focused on lyrics so it's more the entire sound that washes over me in a much more enjoyable way than I'd have thought... as a negative, on the rare occasion that I do end up hearing the lyrics they're a bit...goofy? I don't like it much at all - but it's the era, I get that, so I'll not knock Gershwin - just grading on Ella and the band here. Not really a genre I love but this is one of the most famous and celebrated singers in American history; for those like me it's a necessary education/addition to the list and has been an excellent listen. I feel like I'm giving this a bit of a legacy rating - even though I'm unlikely to listen to the album again, I enjoyed it more than I expected (again not grading the lyrics so much which for me are best-ignored) and to get by the mammoth running time of this I could see making a (much) shorter "best of" this best of for a personal compilation. 7/10 4 stars

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

The songs on this album are great for lounge/ background music. It transports one to a place of stillness and calm. Its like a warm blanket on a cold day

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

No words to describe this voice

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

Butter.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
3

Ella is great, and I love the big band and crooner oldies, but this Gershwin covers album didn't do much for me. Tried 3x. Pretty boring record.

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Sat Mar 27 2021
2

Get's a bit fuckin tiresome this pretty quickly doesn't it?

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Fri Oct 15 2021
2

Absolutely beautiful in every way. Immediately blended into the background. Floated around the room and harmonized with the hum of a small in-wall heater, struggling against the cold morning air. C

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Mon Nov 15 2021
2

There's technically nothing wrong with this album, but it didn't interest me at all. It's good background noise for movies and bars/restaurants, or even for classy house parties, but not enough to desire a listen by itself. I will give it props for making smooth music and Fitzgerald's vocals was pleasant.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
2

The first song was pretty good, but it got worse. It is definitely not bad, in fact the singing is very beautiful, but it's just not my cup of tea. Truthfully, it feels outdated.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
2

Another example of something I acknowledge is great and performed well, but is simply not my style. I can appreciate the talent here, though. Her voice is wonderful and the songs are pleasant.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
1

Im not sure if you have to be a fan of Ella Fitzgerald or George Gershwin, I’m guessing it’s the latter. I now know that I am not.

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Fri Dec 18 2020
5

l. 12/26-28 Masterpiece. Standout Tracks... A lot. Best of? Let's Call The Whole Thing Off, (I've Got) Beginner's Luck, Just Another Rhumba, By Strauss It goes on. Truly great.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Just so so beautiful. Will be buying this vinyl ASAP!

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Crackerjack!

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Amazing

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Perfect from start to finish

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

I don't event know if I listened to the right album, but I listened to 3h of Ella Fitzgerald. So good... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzNbt6Ufcv4

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Ella is always A+

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

☆☆☆☆☆

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

M'ha agradat descbrir-lo!

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Super! So comforting and easy to relax to.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

Long.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

I love her voice! It’s so calming. Completely enjoyed every song

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Tue May 04 2021
5

As expected, Ella was fantastic on this album! Classic songs from top to bottom that were all amazing! (Listened to the highlights version, not whole three hours)

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Beautiful.

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Tue May 18 2021
5

If you had to give one best example of 20th century American song writing, this would probably be it.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Beautiful Record. Listened to it back to back five or six times.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

Come on. It's one of the most recognizable voices in history doing some of the most catchy, melodic, enjoyable music ever written. How can you realistically do better?

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

ella good

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Such an important album to listen to. Now I need to go listen to sinatra

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

this gives me femme fatale smoking a cigarette and sippin' on some bourbon vibes.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
5

was not expecting to be so intrigued by this. the lyrics function really well with the tones.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
5

OMG, Ella Fitzgerald singing Gershwin is an easy 5 stars. I hadn't heard this album before, but wasn't even finished with the first track before I realized this album was going to be great. Would listen again. Frequently.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
5

Ella's voice soothes me in the same way as Karen Carpenter's, and with superb joyful jazz standards "who could ask for anything more"! There is also a shorter "very best of the Gershwin songbook" available too.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

“The Very Best of the Gershwin Songbook” by Ella Fitzgerald (1959) The great Ella Fitzgerald sings 12 great songs written by the great songwriting duo (the great George Gershwin and the great Ira Gershwin), arranged by the great Nelson Riddle performed with the backing of his great orchestra released in the great year 1959 delivering great sound produced by the great Norman Granz for his great record label Verve. Do you get an idea of where this is headed? But, it must be noted, the album is a collection of the ‘top’ 12 tracks from the 59 songs included on the original five-LP “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook”, and thus is sort of a “greatest hits” compilation. It stretches the standard selection criteria of the 1001 Albums project. Now, to the main point of assessing a product like this: Ella Fitzgerald’s voice has everything—resonance, control, range, diction, power, soul, dynamic scope, and metaphysical transcendence (well, perhaps that’s overdoing it a bit). Her delivery can be characterized as sultry, but still capable of expressing laughter through the words and tones. She hits every curveball that tag team relievers Gershwin, Gershwin, and Riddle throw at her. George Gershwin composes melodies with intervals that are challenging for any singer. And while Barbra Streisand and Ella Fitzgerald can both master these intervals in the studio (e.g., “Someone to Watch Over Me”) only Fitzgerald can do it live (not heard on this album, but well worth exploring). In sum, Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is simply amazing. Riddle’s quasi-humorous inclusion of strains of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in the outro to “The Man I Love” probably elicited an eye-rolling giggle from Fitzgerald. But Riddle’s arrangements are, in fact, superb. He is likely, for instance, surpassed only by Glenn Miller in his effective use of solo bass trombone. Some of his humorous countermelodies are a referential stretch, but entertaining every time. Ira Gershwin mastered the art of stretching to reach a rhyme, and he rarely enters the realm of the profound. But he’s a dutiful slave to meter, if that’s a good thing. Listen to the first ten seconds of “Embraceable You” if that’s all the time you have (and if that’s truly all the time you have, I feel sorry). The only flaw I spotted in this album was that the song “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” should have been arranged in a key that is one whole step higher. Fitzgerald can’t quite descend to the tonic with confidence. But even for a quasi-“greatest hits” collection, this recording is still top notch. 5/5

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

Great voice. Great music.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

If I could only listen to one artist for the rest of my life Ella Fitzgerald would be way up in the running. I discovered her music as a teenager & she’s seen me through the good & the bad for 40+ years. The combination of Fitzgerald’s voice & the music of Gershwin is what Sunday afternoons were made for. Just stunning.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

ella's probably has one of the greatest voices ever. her tone is impeccable.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

Amazing

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

Really liked it! Lovely voice.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Ella is the queen.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

Fantastic, soulful voice

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

I mean. It’s Ella. Of course it’s brilliant.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

Elegantly composed music, sung by an exquisite singer

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

Ella . Gershwin. Music doesn't get much more perfect than this. Ella's voice is otherworldly. My only complaint I would love to hear these songs arranged for a small combo. Note. My rating is for a vinyl copy I have if Volume 1, not the full 3 volume box set 5 stars

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Standouts - Love Is Here To Stay; But Not For Me Very mellow jazz Great singing

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Finding out that today's album was from the great Ella Fitzgerald, I started listening with high expectations. She met all of them, and took me through this story of someone longing for love. I listened to the "best of" edition of this album, not having time for all 55 tracks of the original album, but I will definitely have to give it a full listen soon.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

I don't really like to see compilations on this list, but anything by Ella Fitzgerald is always welcome. One of the most pleasant and crystal clear voices of all time. This 45 minutes of heavenly music makes me want to seek out the complete Gershwin songbook.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Great album nothing more nothing less

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

What’s to say? Mastery on top of mastery. Within its genre (if that’s the word) it couldn’t really get any better.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
5

No deja de ser un disco de covers pero si es Ella por Gershwin todo trasciende hasta convertirse en una obra maestra absoluta. Jazz orquestal preciosista y precioso que junto a ese swing vocal que le da la Fitzgerald convierten en oro cualquier tema de los grabados en estas sesiones. Lo escuchas hoy y sigue sonando nuevo, joven. Para dejarte llevar. Increíble.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

A lovely listening experience :) What a voice!

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

I liked it. Even though it was 3+ hours long I did not felt the time. I enjoyed the album. Ella's voice is a blessing to hear.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

Oh Ella, my favourite jazz singer of all time. i would listen to her sing the phone book. But this is not the phone book, but a major volume of the great American songbook. A massive project to record a huge number of the Gershwin's greatest output, with beautiful orchestrations, that create a lush bed for Ella's incomparable voice. Truth be told, I prefer her 1950 Gershwin album; her voice is a little brighter and the orchestrations a little less cheesy. But this really is a major work of popular song of the 20th century.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

These weren't the Gershwin songs I'm most familiar with, but they're good and she's great.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

E.xellent

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Tue Feb 08 2022
5

Uma deliciosa viagem ouvir esse álbum! Melhor música: S'Wonderful Bônus: Someone to Watch over me e Love is here to stay

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Mon Feb 14 2022
5

The warmth, love and just beauty of Ella’s voice is amazing. This album warmed my soul through and through. Loved it!

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

"I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them". - Ira Gershwin This collection features my favorite era of American music and one of the tops of the genre - Ella Fitzgerald. While it's her name on the album, it's a veritable who's who of greats that made this collection possible. Aside of Ella being the highlight vocalizing the amazing words of the brothers Gershwin, this would not be possible at all without Nelson Riddle's orchestration. I've struggled to get through some of the selections on this list that are only one disc. The whopping six discs of music on this selection wasn't enough for me. I could've gone for more Ella Fitzgerald.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Beautiful voice

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

Ella Fitzgerald. Nelson Riddle. Gershwin tunes. A perfect way to spend the day! Among the best things I every listened to.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

Lucky I like a Gershwin tune (how about you?) because this was a lot of them. Ira's rhymes don't hurt either --- here's one of my favorites: "The only work that really brings enjoyment Is the kind that is for girl and boy meant" With Ella's smooth and silky voice and Nelson Riddle's lush arrangements, this was pure delight from start to finish.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

The 3+ hours was a lot of time to work into today for just one listen, but it sure was worth it.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

Oh wow. There aren't many folks I'd like to spend 3.25 hours with. But Ella Fitzgerald, Nelson Riddle, Ira Gershwin, and George Gershwin... This was a magic time, and I'd have gladly spent more time with them. I can't imagine a more perfect combination. This was a lovely day to spend with these masters. I'd do it all again.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

OH MY GOD! I've been waiting for an Ella album! Not too lie, I did not have her on my playlist until a bit more than 4 years ago, starting with Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, and would not have thought that'd be the start of my love for jazz! Love her so so much. And I got this album on a cold rainy working day which was a great reward!

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

I get why she’s the best. Voice like honey. Such lovely movement through changes. She a real G.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Beautiful album!

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Very smooth and relaxing

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

I sang a surprising number of these songs in high school choir. Of course, Ella sings the heck out of them.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

Great Album, one of the best to enjoy in a good evening or a good night

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Tue Apr 12 2022
5

Damn that was the best 195 minute album I’ve ever heard 10/10

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

Pure, unadulterated joy. One of the most important recordings of the twentieth century. The playful lyrics and tunes of the Gershwins, the impeccable artistry of Ella Fitzgerald and the classy arrangements of Nelson Riddle come together - this is sheer indulgence.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

'SWonderful

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Tue May 03 2022
5

That was even better than I expected. Nobody does the standards better than Ella. Not Frank, not Bing. Nobody. That voice is so warm, so smooth, so perfect. If you want to be picky, some of the lyrics don't fit my feminist leanings. But Someone To Watch Over Me is a song with astounding longing, just pouring from the singer's heart. The secret is in the delivery - straight. No warbles, no melisma, no screeching out high notes, just honouring the melody.

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Sat May 21 2022
5

Ella Fitzgerald infusing her magic into dozens of songs from the Great American Songbook? Yes, please. I don't want to write anything more about her lest I diminish her greatness even in the slightest way. Love you, Lady Ella.

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Mon May 23 2022
5

Beautiful

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Perfect. Classic in the best possible way.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Fantastic. Easy listening from an elegant female singer that invented du wap.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

"Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book" is a collection 59 songs written and composed by George and Ira Gershwin, sung by Ella Fitzgerald and music performed by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. It is one of eight albums in the "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Complete American Songbook" series which was recorded between 1956 and 1964 after Ella signed with Verve Records. The songs were written by the Gershwin Brothers between 1924 and 1937 with Ira changing the lyrics on some of the songs especially for Ella. This is quite the listen. Obviously when named "The Queen of Jazz," you'd expect pretty much perfection and that her vocals are. Since these songs were mostly written for musicals and film scores, they switch between big-band loud sounding, kind of fun and playful, and slow and romantic.The first song with lyrics on the album is "Sam and Delilah" originally from the 1931 musical "Girl Crazy" and sung by Ethel Merman. This song starts out slow and sultry and turns more big band loud sounding. Ella glides us threw with her incredible voice and especially her pacing. She reminded me of Frank Sinatra in the way they both know how to play with the timing and music. "But Not For Me" is also from "Girl Crazy" and is soft and slow-paced with strings. Great vocals and, oh, it won the 1960 Grammy for best female performance. Another great song for showcasing her silky smooth voice is "Oh, Lady Be Good," originally from the Broadway musical of the same name. This album is a lot of music. All of it is worth listening to, showcasing an incredible vocal talent. For some reason, I feel like watching a musical or going to the theater. Well, maybe sometime soon.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Ella is a beast. Just a straight up great singer and an easy album to listen to

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

An incredible voice and performer, glad I got to listen to this whole album.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

It’s Ella Fitzgerald

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

I couldn't help but love this. Ella's voice is so smooth, and the music itself was so lush. I have to admit that melodically, this wouldn't normally be my thing. However, Ella's vocal delivery sold me and I was happily whisked away to another time and place.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
5

I mean, what can you say about Gershwin that hasn't been said a million times before. His songs are timeless classics and to listen to an album of them sung by Ella Fitzgerald is a huge treat for the ears.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

There is nothing not to like about this collection. Ella Fitzgerald is always on point.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

after listening to the shortened version of this album, i knew i had to listen to the full version, despite its length at four (!) hours (!!!). the time i had to devote to this album was absolutely worth it. it was beautiful from start to finish. some credit goes to both gershwins for their songs that remain classics to this day. some credit goes to nelson riddle for his excellent arranging. and a lot of credit goes to fitzgerald. her voice! i cannot begin to describe it. she brought so much emotion to each and every recording so all pack quite a punch. (unsurprisingly, fitzgerald won a grammy for "but not for me.") i adore jazz and i enjoy gershwins' songs, so of course this album was going to be super enjoyable for me. but i wasn't prepared for how amazing ella fitzgerald sounded. her voice is what makes this album a classic.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Excellent tracks! Ella is a master of her craft.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Precioso :) Un masaje para el cerebro.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

ELLA :]]]]]

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

A classic :)

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Just absolutely beautiful. Probably my favorite or one of my favorite jazz vocalists. My favorite moments: Track 2 - "Oh, Lady Be Good" - the crazy emotional chord at the end of the song right at 3:46, under the lyric "to". All of "Love is Here to Stay" All of "But Not For Me". Not a bad song on the album. Easy 5/5

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Started by listening to the ‘Very Best’ and then spent the weekend listening to all three hours of the full songbook. Really wonderful - great to spend so much time with her voice. I haven’t listened to a ton of Ella so I enjoyed the deep dive. She has such a soothing voice. But there’s also a playfulness and a flirtatiousness about some of her performances (“Fascinating Rhythm”). A lot of these lyrics are fun and funny, and she knows how to bring out the jokes with a wink and a smile. But when the songs call for it, she brings a mature seductiveness to her singing (“Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Someone To Watch Over Me”). Man, these songs are so good. Great clean, classic pop songwriting. And the lyrics have a wonderful wit and humor. And the big band behind her?! Incredible. I love that full orchestra sound. A lot of gems but these were ones that stood out to me (including some stellar versions of absolute classics): “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Things Are Looking Up,” “They All Laughed” (I love this song so much), “My Cousin in Milwaukee,” “He Loves and She Loves,” “Treat Me Rough,” “Slap That Bass,” “Isn’t it a Pity,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (at our wedding, we danced to the version with Louis Armstrong for our first dance so the song has a special place in my heart - this version is a little different, cool to hear), “Funny Face,” “I Got Rhythm” (oooh the scatting in this! 💃)

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Hugljúf gæsahúð, drottning.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

Unbelievable

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Fantastic songs and such a beautiful voice. She lives up to the height as one of the greatest jazz singers

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Eso que dicen de que un clásico es algo que no se puede hacer mejor.

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Mon Sep 26 2022
5

The queen. five stars.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

Love this one.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Ella Fitzgerald is the greatest jazz vocalist. Gershwin also happens to be my favorite composer so this album (or box set) was quite a treat. While it is over 3 hours long, it was absolutely wonderful. This is one of those bodies of work that should be preserved for future generations

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

Ella is one of the greatest to do it, so this is obviously an amazing album. Beautiful vocal performances

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

Listens: 1 Enjoyed: yes 4 tracks in and I'm listening to 'Lets call the whole thing off' before I'm hooked and stop questioning if I can do 3 hours. There's something so relaxing within this music. Ella's voice is insane and the majority of the writing is fantastic

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

4.5/5 very nice 50s jazz

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

One of the best voices of all time, but this was a chore to get through. Some fantastic standards, and the session musicians are fantastic. 5/5 for Ella's voice, 4/5 for the studio musicians (real talent, but the music was "beneath" their talents), but this is an absolute never listen to again album just because of its length, so that's a 3/5. Averages out to a 4.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Ella had a wonderful voice. The arrangements are sparse, probably to show her off. Nice snow day music. Favorite tracks: "Maybe", "Soon", "But Not for Me"

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Tue Dec 22 2020
4

Very good jazzy background music

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Mon Jan 18 2021
4

Great talent, but not super stimulating on the day

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

All the songs I play on piano, with lyrics included! Some of these songs seem like they were made for her to sing

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

So many classic tunes. Ella Fitzgerald was a cultural icon. I love it so. 4 stars

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Classic vibes with soothing vocals

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Sat Mar 20 2021
4

Long but worth it🙏

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Nice if you're in the mood.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Didn't listen to all the songs but the songs I did here were really pretty. Lots of love.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

I love Ella! All were great songs, but some more so than others.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

This album flowed SO WELL it did not feel like 3 hours of music. Classic, amazing lyrics, so atmospheric and nice. Impossible to choose a favorite song with such a plethora of great tracks. I wonder if all the songbooks are this hype? Only not giving it a 5 as it IS very long, so I was not able to give multiple listens and really delve into it as much as I hoped.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

You can never go wrong with Ella. Maybe it was a too much to have a really memorable moment, but overall it was a great soothing listen.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Really beautiful voice and great songs.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Based on first hour because three dang hours: I was expecting a lot of fluff with a few iconic recordings but Ella Fitzgerald is a really great and charismatic singer and really makes it a fun listen all the way through. This Aussie gives it four smokos with your grandma out of five.

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

its very long

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Perfect kitchen music

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Not my style really but would listen again

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

It was very, very nice I felt like it was Christmas

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

magical. old disney vibes

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

her voice s’ one of the very bests and these songs make me so calm but happy very romantic <3

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Classic 30-40s Jazz. Love it

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

But Not For Me - I’m getting lost in her voice and the instrumentation. simply beautiful to listen to tbh.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

I absolutely loved her voice, however the album is literally 3 hours long, I'd only use it for background music.

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

A great collection of massive songs from that era, brought to life by this amazing vocalist.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Wonderful

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Love Ella. Not a huge Gershwin fan. But her voice with the music was certainly lovely.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Pros: Ella, Diverse Array, Great Instrumentalists Cons: Long, Mind-Numbing = Good tunes to listen to on individual or short burst basis

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Esta bien, tranquilo, buena música y una voz genial.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Awesome album. I love a bit of Gershwin so to have Ella sing on top is lovely.

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Very beautiful

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Enjoyable, but very long. 3.5 / 5

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

Relaxing!

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

Good stuff

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Rich classics full of style and quality

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Mon May 31 2021
4

It just sounds so incredibly old. Still, the singing is good, the voice is great. Not something I'd listen to actively, but was a very pleasant background album for working.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

It's really good. I never thought I'd like a jazz album that much, I mean, I like jazz and soul, but I had never listened a album full of them and it's really nice

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

There are some gems in here songwriting-wise, but the true marvel is the vocal work. Ella is undoubtedly one of the greats.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

good

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Ella Fitzgerald- Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book (1958): Something about Ellas’ voice and the delicate instrumentation and fantastic production of this record really brings to life what I’d think the fifty’s sounded like.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

I listened to the whole (3+hrs) thing, farrout. Production is amazing and arrangements are great but the star of the show is definitely Ella Fitzgerald’s voice. There’s so much here to unpack but it’s a lovely big band suite. Fab tracks: Let’s call the whole thing off, love is here to stay and fascinating rhythm

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

One of the best voices ever. Lovely tunes.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Dinner party, quite morning stirring music. Fan of the slower movements as I’ve never enjoyed the energy of big band arrangements. Was glad to see that the first track was not an indicator for the rest of the album. Lovely, natural reverb on Ella’s voice, especially noticed it on Someone To Watch Over Me. Ok, now the reverb is all I can hear in this album, and I love it. This morning I've gone down a rabbit hole of looking at where this was recorded, Capitol Studio A. Need to listen more closely to the countless albums recorded there.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Ella is een baas. Goede arrangementen en repertoire. Beetje low energy, maar super goed. Beste tracks: Nice work if you can get it, fascinating rhythm, embraceable you. 4/5

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Sun May 30 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: I got rhythm, The man I love, Love is here to stay

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Tue May 18 2021
4

What a voice! Not a fan of big band, but beautiful nonetheless.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

Good

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

I think this is brilliant, i know many of the songs from differnet versions and artists but ella fitzgerald's phrasing and modulation is unique. I would never have thought that i would ever prefer an artist version over frank sinatra but you cant take that away from me seems to be more natural from ella. Awesome some

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

Very good music. Not a style I would listen too much at all, but it is undoubtably great.

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Mon Aug 16 2021
4

Overall this album was solid. Ella's voice is great, she was really talented. I just feel like I was getting a little bit bored with the songs by the end of the album. It would be great background / study music though. 4/5 stars.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

Jazz del de antes.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Awesome voice. Don't love song content.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Super solid. Instrumentation and vocals. Lyrics are rock solid too.

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Sun Sep 05 2021
4

4/5 Wonderful voice

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Tue Sep 14 2021
4

sounds sweet, really tender stuff, but not very expressy

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

I can appreciate her talent and flawless delivery. Solid 4.4

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

I cannot say that I "feel" and "understand" jazz at this moment in my life. But Ella is a genius who brought me a little closer to this understanding. Most liked compositions: Just another rhumba, Sam and Delilah, But not for me, My One and Only, The Man I love, Clap Yo Hands, The Half of it, He loves and She loves

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

I'm not super well versed in jazz, but I enjoyed this a lot! I don't know how often I'll revisit it, but I'm certainly very glad that I listened to it. Also, I was getting conflicting info on what to listen to, so I listened to "The Very Best of the Gershwin Songbook", just for the record.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

Gorgeous album, like whipped cream.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

Smooooooooth. And what a voice! Felt very calm listening to it :)

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

oold slow but still nice

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Her voice is superb and I'm not able to do any criticism over it. It could be a crime. The album itself is cool, but a little bit repetitive. It's, at least for me, a real document that deserves appreciation and studies over it, for many reasons. However, for an "innocent" session of good music, I believe that we have many other good albums, including some Ella Fitzgerald works.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Nice album. Showcases the voice of Ella

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

Buttery smooth, cozy. I thought it was going to be repetitive big band, but surprisingly there was a lot of variety. Nice listen on a fall afternoon. Did fade into the background, but it’s nearly perfect.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
4

Really nice classic vocal jazz and super easy to listen to. Calming in a way. 7/10.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Ella's voice is amazing and I love Gershwin's compositions so the combination is magical. The songs do start to meld a bit after hour 2, which is why the full album is bumped down from 5 to 4 stars.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
4

Jazzy chill background music

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

I very likely wouldn’t have listened to this if not for this project, but it was wonderful.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Great collection.... but no WOW

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Simple easy to listen

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Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Oh maaaan that was silky smooth. What a voice. I loved the choice of songs, and the direct & uncluttered way she phrases the melodies.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

bretty gud

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Tue Nov 16 2021
4

Una voce incredibile. Atmosfera sognante e rilassata. Grande tecnica e grandissimo amore per la musica. Riesce a far visualizzare un'epoca.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Classic, good for working or just relax

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Soft calm, ballet music? She just sings and it doesn't bother.

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Sat Nov 20 2021
4

Classic

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Holy fuck I forgot how much of a voice Ella's GAT. And the music in the background, with all the knowledge of music I've got, is just a lot of fun to listen to. This album definitely feels like it belongs in the 1950s.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Ella Fitzgerald's voice is completely unmatched. She has such a wide range that she freely travels. And yet nothing is overdone, her voice works right along side the music. The instrumental is wonderful as well, the violins help give a very whimsical sound. The songs are very relaxing and pleasant, its hard to be in a bad mood listening to this album. Each individual instrument (and Ella) would sound great even isolated from the rest of the song. When its all brought together it feels like everything just harmonizes. As much as I like this artist, its just not something I could listen to on my personal playlists. The style is just not something id listen to at any time in the real world and it can't fit with the other artists I listen to. Its not just unique, but its out of place outside of its era. 8/10 Incredible talent from everyone involved but its as much as I could give for an album I wont listen to in my own time.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

I love Ella. I love Gershwin. What more is there to say?

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

Ella is an absolute legend. Not every song hit, but her talent more than makes up for that.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
4

it is not easy to find the definitive version of this album

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