Stories » Ella Fitzgerald centennial reissues, saves best for last with Ella at Zardi's / The Morton Report

Top 10 for Oct

Ella Fitzgerald centennial reissues, saves best for last with Ella at Zardi's / The Morton Report

Bookmark and Share

As part of the centennial celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's birth, the lady's record label went all out with of every stripe and selection. Quite possibly they saved the best for last, when this live album (recorded in a Hollywood nightclub in 1956) was released in December. Oddly enough, it has never been out before, likely hidden away for some special occasion such as a 100th birthday. The music is a joyous affair all around, with a perfect backing trio soaring through 21 songs of hope, happiness, and heartache. Nobody could caress a song like Fitzgerald, making it her own no matter how many times other singers had tried to do just that. From "It All Depends on You" to "I've Got a Crush on You" it's a master class on what makes jazz vocalists truly in a sphere of their own. It must have been pure bliss to walk out of that nightclub in Hollywood after spending an evening in the presence of the Queen, knowing there wasn't anywhere else on the entire planet where better music had been. Ella Fitzgerald had become a class of one by 1956, and thankfully Verve Records label chief Norman Granz made sure to bring in the recording gear and preserve exactly why. What a world. 

READ THE FULL Morton Report REVIEW