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

Barney Kessel – Kessel Plays “Carmen” {Contemporary}[OJC]


Review by Scott Yanow
This is an unusual set that has been reissued on CD. During an era when many Broadway and movie scores were recorded in jazz settings (thanks in part to the success of Shelly Manne’s best-selling My Fair Lady album), guitarist Barney Kessel chose to interpret nine melodies from Bizet’s opera Carmen. The guitarist is heard in three different settings: joined by five woodwinds and a rhythm section; with five jazz horns (including altoist Herb Geller and trumpeter Ray Linn) and a trio; and with vibraphonist Victor Feldman in a quintet. Kessel also wrote the arrangements, which pay tribute to the melodies while not being shy of swinging the themes. An interesting if not essential project.

Tracklist:
01 – Swingin’ the Toreador 05:52
02 – A Pad on the Edge of Town 06:46
03 – If You Dig Me 04:04
04 – Free As a Bird 05:00
05 – Viva El Toro! 03:15
06 – Flowersville 06:00
07 – Carmen’s Cool 04:43
08 – Like, There’s No Place Like… 03:59
09 – The Gypsy’s Hip 03:56

Personnel:
Barney Kessel – guitar
Harry Betts – trombone
Ray Linn – trumpet
Herb Geller – alto sax
Justin Gordon – flute, alto flute, tenor sax
Chuck Gentry – baritone sax
Buddy Collette – flue, alto flute, clarinet
Bill Smith – clarinet, bass clarinet
Jules Jacob – oboe, clarinet
Pete Terry – bass clarinet, bassoon
Andre Previn – piano
Joe Mondragon – bass
Shelly Manne – drums

Recorded in Contemporary Records studio, Los Angeles; December 19 & 22, 1958.

Label: Contemporary / OJC
Year: 1986
Genre: Jazz
Total Time: 43:34

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork