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

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The Very Best of the Rodgers and Hart Song Book

Verve 0602517052437




1. Lover
2. My Funny Valentine
3. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
4. It Never Entered My Mind
5. Ten Cents a Dance
6. The Lady Is a Tramp
7. Manhattan
8. Little Girl Blue
9. I Could Write a Book
10. Where or When
11. This Can't Be Love
12. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Ella Fitzgerald - Vocals
Orchestra conducted by Buddy Bregman (tracks 1-11)
Paul Smith - Piano (track 12)
Barney Kessel - Guitar (track 12)
Joe Mondragon - Bass (track 12)
Alvin Stoller - Drums (track 12)

Oh dear! The last of our batch of three new Ella Fitzgerald collections is a bit of a mystery. Verve has already made the complete Rodgers & Hart Song Book available on a mid-price disc, so why have they issued this CD containing a measly dozen tracks for roughly the same price? It omits some of the finest performances from the complete set, such as With a Song in my Heart and Johnny One Note.

Mind you, it would have made a very desirable CD if there weren't the better-value competing albums - not only from Verve (retailing at £6.97 from Amazon UK) but also from Avid (a mere £4.99). But it hasn't a hope with its niggardly 46 minutes of music (for £7.99) - and the recording quality is no better than on the rival albums. Why, oh why?

Tony Augarde


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