New Classics: ‘Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook’
New Classics is classic albums, movies, TV shows, books, and other pop culture-y things revisited by young people who haven’t listened, read or watched them before. We don’t bother rating them, because they’re classics for a reason.
Ella Fitzgerald is a name most have heard of, possibly because she more or less reigned over jazz music for several decades. Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook is perhaps one of her greatest albums, recorded at the peak of her vocal prowess in 1959.
The classics are all there – ‘Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off’, ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’ are all on this gorgeous album. It’s also quite a lengthy album – there is over three hours worth of material spread out over five albums. The Nelson Riddle Orchestra accompanies Fitzgerald’s rich, gorgeous voice, and it’s well worth listening to just for Fitzgerald’s scat singing in ‘I Got Rhythm’.
‘Samson and Delilah’ is a particular favourite of mine, as is ‘Funny Face’.
Ira Gershwin said that he never knew how good their (George and his) songs were until he heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them. That’s all the recommendation anyone should need to listen to this album. Whether you’re a jazz fan (in which case you’ve probably already listened to the Queen of Jazz) or a casual listener, you should have a listen.