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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



Vol. 4

Ella & Company

Original 1943-1951 recordings




  1. Cow Cow Boogie with The Ink spots
  2. And her Tears Flowed Like Wine with the Song Spinners
  3. Cry You Out of my Heart with The Delta Rhythm Boys
  4. Stone Cold Dead in the Market with Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five
  5. Petootie Pie with Louis Jordan
  6. You won’t Be Satisfied with Louis Armstrong
  7. The Frim Fram Sauce with Louis Armstrong
  8. I Love you for Sentimental Reasons with The Delta Rhythm Boys
  9. It’s a Pity to Say Goodnight with The Delta rhythm Boys
  10. My Happiness with the Song spinners
  11. Baby It’s Cold Outside with Louis Jordan
  12. I Gotta have My Baby Back with The Mills Bros.
  13. Ain’t Nobody’s Business but my Own with Louis Jordan
  14. Can anyone Explain? With Louis Armstrong
  15. Dream a Little Dream of me with Louis Armstrong
  16. That Old Feeling with The Day Dreamers
  17. Who walks In When I Walk Out with Louis Armstrong
  18. Would You Like to Take a Walk with Louis Armstrong
  19. Necessary Evil with Louis Armstrong
  20. Oops! With Louis Armstrong

These are very commercial recordings and some of the backings were not ideal for Lady Fitz., but she is such a magnificent singer that the quality of her voice shines through all the way. Decca realised that they had signed a great talent when she joined them, but it was a talent that they really didn’t know what to do with! Equally she was having difficulty in finding exactly the right application for her unique abilities. For their part they decided on a series of recordings of her with other artists from their portfolio. She works well with Louis Armstrong,, another giant of jazz both as singer and trumpet player. When they are together, even the most mundane songs come to life in a way that a lesser artist could never achieve.

As usual the Naxos team have done an excellent job on the Digital Restoration and there is an informative sleeve note written by Cary Ginell.

Not long after these recordings were made, Ella found a much more suitable outlet for her superb voice in the Jazz at the Philharmonic team of Norman Granz, no doubt her marriage to bassist Ray Brown helped that along. From 1955 she left the Decca label, to record for the Granz Verve label. It was there that she made some of her very finest recordings in the ’Songbook’ series.

Overall this is a pleasant well produced CD and because of the presence of Ella it is worth the modest outlay!

Don Mather


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