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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ELLA FITZGERALD

Like Someone in Love

Essential Jazz Classics EJC 55465

 

 


1. There's a Lull in my Life
2. More Than You Know
3. What Will I Tell my Heart?
4. I Never Had a Chance
5. Close Your Eyes
6. We'll Be Together Again
7. Then I'll Be Tired of You
8. Like Someone in Love
9. Midnight Sun
10. I Thought about You
11. You're Blas‚
12. Night Wind
13. What's New?
14. Hurry Home
15. How Long Has This Been Going On?
16. I'll Never Be the Same
17. Lost in a Fog
18. Everything Happens to Me
19. So Rare
20. Like Someone in Love

Ella Fitzgerald - Vocals (tracks 1-19)
Frank DeVol - Arranger, conductor (tracks 1-19)
Stan Getz - Tenor sax (tracks 1, 3, 9, 11, 13, 20)
Lou Levy - Piano (track 20)
Leroy Vinnegar - Bass (track 20)
Stan Levey - Drums (track 20)

 

I generally don't like it when jazz singers are accompanied by string orchestras, as such backings can dilute the jazz content. However, the accompaniments here are sufficiently discreet not to get in the way of that great jazz vocalist, Ella Fitzgerald. In fact, the general understatement of the backings helps to highlight Ella's supreme vocal qualities.

This CD contains the second and third sessions that Ella recorded with Frank DeVol in 1957 for the Verve label. Ella was at the peak of her powers, having signed with Norman Granz in 1955 and already recorded the first of her pioneering "Songbook" albums for Verve. She savours every song with devoted care, and she can continually surprise the listener with how she handles songs which mostly come from the Great American Songbook.

To take a few examples of how Fitzgerald brings her individuality to these songs, hear how she inserts a little sway into the second line of More Than You Know; how the ending of We'll Be Together Again diverges slightly from what you were probably expecting; and the way she confidently handles the difficult intervals of Midnight Sun.

It goes without saying that her intonation is pitch-perfect and that she delivers each song as if she is thinking about what the lyrics mean. On several tracks the effect is enhanced by the mellifluous sound of Stan Getz's tenor sax. And the final track is a bonus instrumental version of the title-track, played by Stan's quartet without vocals.

Most of the songs are slow or mid-tempo, so you might say that this is an "easy listening" CD. But it's also as near perfection as a jazz singer's album can be.

Tony Augarde



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