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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Sings Irving Berlin

Jazz Manifesto 38292


1. Let's Face the Music and Dance
2. You're Laughing at Me
3. Let Yourself Go
4. You Can Have Him
5. Russian Lullaby
6. Puttiní on the Ritz
7. Get Thee Behind Me, Satan
8. Alexanderís Ragtime Band
9. Top Hat, White Tie and Tails
10. How About Me?
11. Cheek to Cheek
12. I Used to be Colour Blind
13. Lazy
14. How Deep is the Ocean?
15. All By Myself
16. Remember
17. Isnít This a Lovely Day (with Louis Armstrong)
18. Iím Putting All My Eggs in One Basket  (with Louis Armstrong)
19. Iíve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (with Louis Armstrong)

1. Suppertime
2. Howís Chances
3. Heat Wave
4. Isnít This a Lovely Day?
5. You Keep Coming Back like a Song
6. Reaching for the Moon
7. Slumming on Park Avenue
8. The Song is Ended
9. Iím Putting All My Eggs in One Basket
10. Now it Can be Told
11. Always
12. Itís a Lovely Day Today
13. Change Partners
14. No Strings (Iím Fancy Free)
15. Iíve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
16. I Never Had a Chance (with Louis Armstrong)
17. Pack Your Sins and go to the Devil (with Chick Webb)

18. Everybody Step (with Chick Webb)

These are some of the most famous recordings ever made at the behest of Norman Granz, jazz promoter extraordinaire. Most of those of us who love this kind of music will have bought the LPs when they were originally released. The backings were arranged by Paul Weston and they are played by his orchestra. Listening made me wonder if any of our readers has the personnel lists for this music; some of the instrumental solos are superb, but I can only guess who was involved. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has the information.

The combination of Ella and Berlin is stunning. The vast majority of the songs are superb, and even those which are not of the very best sound wonderful with the combination of Ella and this great Big Band. It is not really surprising that no singer has come along to take Ellaís place; I assume the possible contenders are chasing the million-dollar pay-off which jazz has never provided. Perhaps it could be that that there will only ever be one Ella. The sleeve-note says that she lacked the intensity of Billie Holiday, but I would take issue with that. Bing Crosby got it right when he said ďMan, woman or child, Ella is the greatest!Ē 

The last three tracks on each CD are of Irving Berlin songs, sung with either Louis Armstrong, from the Ella & Louis album, or from 1938 with the Chick Webb Band. 

There is little else to say about this album, except that if you like good songs beautifully sung, accompanied by an excellent orchestra - and you donít have them already - then you must buy this album. It is a classic! 

Don Mather




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