Something vocal this weekend and in honor of her birthday (April 25). The immortal Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by The Lou Levy Quartet, live at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and recorded by Radio Nederland on February 18, 1961.
Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.
Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.)
She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common – they all loved her.
A thoroughly enjoyable concert with everyone in top-notch form.
Here’s what’s on the player:
Ella Fitzgerald & the Lou Levy Quartet
18 February, 1961
Ella Fitzgerald (voc), Lou Levy (p), Herb Ellis (g), Wilfred Middlebrooks (b), Gus Johnson (d)
01 Introduction (Norman Granz) (0:55)
02 Unidentified instrumental (by the trio) (8:22)
03 Too Close For Comfort (3:09)
04 On A Slow Boat To China (2:20)
05 How Long Has This Been Going On (2:51)
06 Heart And Soul (4:02)
07 You’re Driving Me Crazy (3:21)
08 That Old Black Magic (3:42)
09 Lover Come Back To Me (1:59)
10 My Funny Valentine (3:39)
11 I’ve Got A Crush On You (2:35)
12 Lorelei (3:22)
13 Mr Paganini (4:33)
14 Mack The Knife (3:52)
15 St Louis Blues (6:31)
A swinging set of numbers from one of the true Greats.