Ella Fitzgerald – Ella for Lovers {Verve} “Russian Print”


Review by Tim Sendra ~allmusic.com
This 16-track collection features Ella Fitzgerald in a variety of musical settings singing romantic songs of love. The disc covers the years 1950 to 1961 with songs taken from the Verve and Decca archives. Four songs are culled from Intimate Ella, which has pianist Paul Smith as her sole accompanist. For the six songs from Pure Ella, she is backed by the wonderful pianist Ellis Larkins. A lovely take from this session on the Gershwin brothers “I’ve Got a Crush on You” is a highlight of the compilation. Two tracks are lifted from the gently swinging Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! with backing by a small combo. Three songs are extracted from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook; two with small-combo backing including Paul Smith on piano, one, the haunting “Wait Till You See Her,” with Barney Kessel providing guitar. The disc closes out with a song taken from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book. “Russian Lullaby” is a spare track with Fitzgerald’s majestic vocals supported by viola and harp. Fitzgerald sounds marvelous throughout, she could sing your phone bill and make it sound like a heavenly choir, and the song selection is top notch. There are a lot of Ella Fitzgerald collections available, this is a solid if not essential addition to them and also a nice disc for a romantic evening.

Tracklist:
01. I Got a Guy (3:46)
02. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You (2:51)
03. Please Be Kind (3:36)
04. How Long has This Been Going On? (3:16)
05. With a Song in My Heart (2:47)
06. Baby, What Else can I Do? (3:50)
07. I’ve Got a Crush on You (3:16)
08. My Melancholy Baby (2:59)
09. Wait Till You See Her (1:32)
10. You’re My Thrill (3:39)
11. Misty (2:55)
12. What is There to Say? (3:23)
13. Bewitched (7:05)
14. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You (2:38)
15. Imagination (2:37)
16. Russian Lullaby (1:52)

Personnel:
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel – guitar
Ellis Larkins, Lou Levy, Paul Smith – piano
Gus Johnson , Stan Levey, Alvin Stoller – drums
Wilfred Middlebrooks, Joe Mondragon – bass

Recorded at: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; New York, NY;
Nola Recording Studio, New York, NY; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA;
United Recorders, Hollywood, CA.; between 1950 – 1961.
Compilation producer: Bryan Koniarz.

Genre: Jazz
Style: Vocal Jazz, Standards
Label: Verve (Russian Print)
Year: 2003
Time: 52:01

Quality-1: flac (tracks, eac, cue, log) + full scans
Quality-2: mp3@320 + full scans

Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster {Verve} “Originals”


Review from cduniverse.com

“Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster” highlights the talents of both tenor men nicely, with Hawkins and Webster consistently complementing each other’s playing. In fact, they develop a kind of conversational interplay that is quite beautiful, particularly on the gentle “It Never Entered My Mind” and the slowly swinging “Shine on Harvest Moon.” Although the rest of the band consists of stellar musicians (including pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Herb Ellis), they concede the spotlight to Hawkins and Webster, whose dual saxophones more than carry the record. Other standout tracks include the sultry ballad “Tangerine” and the Latin-flavored “La Rosita.”

Tracks:
01 – Blues for Yolande (stereo)
02 – It Never Entered My Mind
03 – La Rosita
04 – You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
05 – Prisoner of Love
06 – Tangerine
07 – Shine on Harvest Moon
08 – Blues for Yolande (mono)
09 – Blues for Yolande (incomplete takes)

Personnel:
Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Alvin Stoller – drums

Recorded October 1957 in Hollwyood

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Herb Ellis & Remo Palmier – Windflower {Concord}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

This album is most significant for being the first jazz recording in a few decades by guitarist Remo Palmier (who was also known early on as Palmieri). Fellow guitarist Herb Ellis was the leader but he gives his guest just as much solo space as he takes and, with the tasteful accompaniment of bassist George Duvivier and drummer Ron Traxler, the two old friends challenge each other on a variety of appealing chord changes including “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” “Close Your Eyes,” “Walkin'” and Jobim’s “Triste.” The success of this boppish set led to Palmieri getting his own Concord album the following year.

Tracks:
01 – Windflower
02 – The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
03 – My Foolish Heart
04 – Close Your Eyes
05 – Danny Boy
06 – Walkin’
07 – Stardust
08 – Triste
09 – Groove Merchant

Personnel:
Herb Ellis – guitar
Remo Palmier – guitar
George Duvivier – bass
Ron Traxler – drums

Recorded at Bell Sound Studios, New York City, NY; 1978

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson {Verve} “Silver Collection”


Review by Review by Michael G. Nastos (allmusic.com)

By 1957, hard bop was firmly established as the jazz of now, while pianist Oscar Peterson and his ensemble with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis were making their own distinctive presence known as a true working band playing standards in the swing tradition. Louis Armstrong was more recognizable to the general public as a singer instead of the pioneering trumpet player we all know he was. But popularity contests being the trend, Armstrong’s newer fans wanted to hear him entertain them, so in retrospect it was probably a good move to feature his vocalizing on these tracks with Peterson’s band and guest drummer Louie Bellson sitting in. The standard form of Armstrong singing the lead lines, followed by playing his pithy and witty horn solos based on the melody secondarily, provides the basis for the format on this charming but predictable recording. What happens frequently is that Armstrong and Peterson play lovely ad lib vocal/piano duets at the outset of many tunes. They are all songs you likely know, with few upbeat numbers or obscure choices, and four extra tracks tacked onto the CD version past the original sessions. In fact, it is the familiarity of songs like the midtempo “Let’s Fall in Love,” with Armstrong’s gravelly and scat singing, and his marvelous ability to riff off of the basic songs that make these offerings endearing. A classic take of “Blues in the Night” is the showstopper, while choosing “Moon Song” is a good, off the beaten path pick as the trumpeter plays two solo choruses, and he leads out on his horn for once during the slightly bouncy, basic blues “I Was Doing All Right.” Some extremely slow tunes crop up on occasion, like “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” an atypically downtempo take of “Let’s Do It,” and “You Go to My Head,” featuring Peterson’s crystalline piano. Liner note author Leonard Feather opines that this is Armstrong’s first attempt at the latter tune, and compares it historically to Billie Holiday. There are the dependable swingers “Just One of Those Things,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Sweet Lorraine” with Peterson at his accompanying best; a ramped-up version of the usually downtrodden “Willow Weep for Me”; and a duet between Armstrong and Ellis on the sad two-minute ditty “There’s No You.” All in all, it’s difficult to critique or find any real fault with these sessions, though Peterson is subsumed by the presence of Armstrong, who, as Feather notes, really needs nobody’s help. That this was their only collaboration speaks volumes of how interactive and communal the session really was, aside from the music made being fairly precious.

Tracks:
01 – That Old Feeling
02 – Let’s Fall in Love
03 – I’ll Never Be the Same
04 – Blues in the Night
05 – How Long Has This Been Going On
06 – I Was Doing All Right
07 – What’s New
08 – Moon Song
09 – Just One of Those Things
10 – There’s No You
11 – You Go to My Head
12 – Sweet Lorraine
13 – I Get a Kick Out of You
14 – Makin’ Whoopee
15 – Willow Weep for Me
16 – Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)

Personnel:
Louis Armstrong – vocals, trumpet
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Louis Bellson – drums

Tracks 1-12, stereo, recorded in Chicago; October 14, 1957
Tracks 13-16, mono, recorded in Los Angeles; July 31, 1957

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Sonny Stitt – Sits in with the Oscar Peterson Trio {Verve}


Review by Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

This CD combines a complete session that Sonny Stitt (doubling on alto and tenor) did with the 1959 Oscar Peterson Trio (which includes the pianist/leader, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen) and three titles from 1957 with Peterson, Brown, guitarist Herb Ellis, and drummer Stan Levey. The music very much has the feel of a jam session and, other than a themeless blues, all of the songs are veteran standards. Highlights of this fine effort include “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “The Gypsy,” “Scrapple from the Apple,” “Easy Does It,” and “I Remember You.” Lots of cooking music.

Tracks:
01 – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
02 – Au Privave
03 – The Gypsy
04 – I’ll Remember April
05 – Scrapple from the Apple
06 – Moten Swing
07 – Blues for Pres, Sweets, Ben & all the Other Funky Ones
08 – Easy Does It
09 – I Didn’t Know what Time it Was
10 – I Remember You
11 – I Know that You Know

Personnel:
Sonny Stitt – alto & tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Ed Thigpen, Stan Levey – drums

Recorded May 18, 1959 (tracks 1-8); October 10, 1957 (tracks 9-11)

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

Coleman Hawkins – Genius of Coleman Hawkins {Verve}


Review by Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

Genius may not be the right word, but “brilliance” certainly fits. At the age of 51 in 1957, Hawkins had already been on records for 35 years and had been one of the leading tenors for nearly that long. This date matches him with the Oscar Peterson Trio (plus drummer Alvin Stoller) for a fine run-through on standards. Hawk plays quite well, although the excitement level does not reach the heights of his sessions with trumpeter Roy Eldridge.

Tracks:
01 – I’ll Never Be the Same
02 – You’re Blase
03 – I Wished on the Moon
04 – How Long Has This Been Going On
05 – Like Someone in Love
06 – My Melancholy Baby
07 – Ill Wind
08 – In a Mellowtone
09 – There’s No You
10 – The World is Wainting for the Sunrise
11 – Somebody Loves Me
12 – Blues for Rene

Personnel:
Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone
Oscar Peterson – piano
Herb Ellis – guitar
Ray Brown – bass
Alvin Stoller – drums

Recorded October 16, 1957 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork