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Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Gershwin Songbook Box set, Import, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, May 19, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Capturing Ella at the peak of her artistic powers, this 4-disc collection offers up some of the most definitive Gershwin interpretations ever recorded. Featuring superb arrangements by Nelson Riddle, songs here include "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "My One And Only," "Oh, Lady, Be Good," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "'S Wonderful" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" (and that's just disc 1!).

George and Ira Gershwin are probably the songwriters who have contributed the most standards to the American repertory, and Fitzgerald covers pretty much all of them in this mammoth enterprise. (The 53 songs were recorded in 1959 and originally came out in a five- LP box set.) Considering the scope of this collection, naming titles would be futile: rest assured that your favorite Gershwin tune is likely to be included. The singer's well-known versatility and musicality are in evidence, but what's especially amazing is the complete symbiosis between her and arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle. Fresh off injecting a shot of swing into Sinatra's career, Riddle enhances Fitzgerald's vocals rather than overwhelming her, and Fitzgerald, in turn, is stimulated by the musicians percolating behind her. Pure genius. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Promenade (Walking The Dog)
  2. March Of The Swiss Soldiers
  3. Fidgety Feet
  4. Prelude I
  5. Prelude II
  6. Prelude III
  7. Sam And Delilah
  8. But Not For Me
  9. My One And Only
  10. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
  11. Beginner's Luck, (I've Got)
  12. Oh, Lady, Be Good!
  13. Nice Work If You Can Get It
  14. Things Are Looking Up
  15. Just Another Rhumba
  16. How Long Has This Been Going On?
  17. 'S Wonderful
  18. Man I Love, The
  19. That Certain Feeling
  20. By Strauss
  21. Someone To Watch Over Me
  22. Real American Folk Song (Is A Rag), The

Disc: 2

  1. Who Cares?
  2. Looking For A Boy
  3. They All Laughed
  4. My Cousin In Milwaukee
  5. Somebody From Somewhere
  6. Foggy Day, A
  7. Clap Yo' Hands
  8. For You, For Me, For Evermore
  9. Stiff Upper Lip
  10. Boy Wanted
  11. Strike Up The Band
  12. Soon
  13. I've Got A Crush On You
  14. Bidin' My Time
  15. Aren't You Kind Of Glad We Did?
  16. Of Thee I Sing
  17. "Half Of It Dearie Blues," The
  18. I Was Doing All Right
  19. He Loves And She Loves
  20. Love Is Sweeping The Country
  21. Treat Me Rough

Disc: 3

  1. Love Is Here To Stay
  2. Slap That Bass
  3. Isn't It A Pity?
  4. Shall We Dance?
  5. Love Walked In
  6. You've Got What Gets Me
  7. They Can't Take That Away From Me
  8. Embraceable You
  9. I Can't Be Bothered Now
  10. Boy! What Love Has Done To Me!
  11. Fascinating Rhythm
  12. Funny Face
  13. Lorelei
  14. Oh, So Nice!
  15. Let's Kiss And Make Up
  16. I Got Rythym

Disc: 4

  1. Somebody Loves Me
  2. Cheerful Little Earful
  3. But Not For Me
  4. Lorelei - (alternate take)
  5. Love Is Here To Stay - (alternate take)
  6. Oh, Lady, Be Good! - (alternate take)
  7. Oh, Lady, Be Good! - (alternate take)
  8. Oh, Lady, Be Good! - (alternate take)
  9. But Not For Me - (mono)
  10. Fascinating Rhythym - (mono)
  11. They All Laughed - (mono)
  12. Man I Love, The - (mono)
  13. Nice Work If You Can Get It -(mono)
  14. Clap Yo' Hands - (mono)
  15. Let's Call The Whole Thing Off - (mono)
  16. I Was Doing All Right - (mono)
  17. He Loves And She Loves - (mono)
  18. Beginner's Luck, (I've Got) - (mono)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Import, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000006P6L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I rarely write reviews of products (they speak for themselves) but after readings "Brian"'s review of this recording, I felt compelled. (Brian must be among the group of people who like to criticize just to make themselves feel better... they feel themselves authorities in some manner). Ella Fitzgerald singing the Gershwin Songbook has to be in the top two recorded piceces of popular music of all time ("Judy at Carnegie" is the only other contender for number one). There is no other artist who captures the essence of the Gershwins as Ella in this set. The orchestration is full and rich ,but does not distract from Ella's voice. The scores are kept authentic... Ella does not try to "sell" or "personalize" the songs like Sinatra did with Cole Porter's music. Yes, there are some Gershwin tunes here that the masses may not have heard, but that doesn't make them less valuable than the "Lady Be Good"'s and the "They Can't Take that Away from Me"'s. The art of music is in interpretation and Ella interprets Gershwin like no other. Where else have you heard Gershwin so completely and purely interpreted? I challenge anyone to find a similar recording, period. ***** is not high enough.
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Format: Audio CD
If I had to flee my pad with only one item, it would be this box set. O.k, that's kind of cheating because I'd be taking more than CD out with me, but what the heck -- it's my place going up in smoke, isn't it? Ella's silky yet crystal-clear voice with perfect intonation and inflection, combined with the unsurpassable songs of George and Ira Gershwin and the orchestrations of Nelson Riddle make this a classic in every sense of the word. If at least three of the songs in this box set don't give you goosebumps I will come over and mow your lawn. The ending of "The Man I Love" will propel you into the troposphere. This set is a once-in-a-century combination of musical talent. It is a pure joy.
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By A Customer on June 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Reading the only one-star review of this album (very partial indeed), I felt it was my obligation to clarify some points that were misjudged by an unskillful person who only wants to attack Ella Fitzgerald: 1- This is a songbook, not an original Broadway cast album; it is written in the box. If you buy an album that is a songbook and you do not like songbooks, you are blind or you cannot read. 2- Fifty-some songs presented here (some with original verses never heard before) with a variety of ideas (not an easy task) only made possible by the enormous talent of Nelson Riddle; 3- This is a masterpiece recognized by the public and the serious critics; 4- This album was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald; 5- Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday do not appear here; 6- Frank Sinatra was a great popular singer; 7- Billie Holiday was a great jazz singer; 8- Ella Fitzgerald was a great pop AND jazz singer, by the way, the greatest of them all. Good records and bad records every artist have them. It is silly to say that every album that Mr, Sinatra recorded is a gem. Only in the limited eyes of a fan. I say: forget the doo bee doo bees of Mr Sinatra. Listen to Ella's Angel Eyes. It is by far better than his. 9- A timeless classic. Get it. If you want one free, ask the person of the one-star review. He or she probably wants to get rid of it.
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Format: Audio CD
YOU MUST BUY THIS CD...Anyone not familiar with the three names above, who wants to hear great songs by the Great Gershwins in a nice,whizbang set will go bonkers over Ella singing these tunes with the great Nelson Riddle arranging.In fact,no other straight Gershwin set comes close.Remember, these tunes were written in the 1920's-1930's. They are as fresh now as ever,and this CD collection proves it.True,a couple of them(say "I've Got You Under My Skin","Love is Here to Stay") have had better interpretations(mainly Frank and Nelson a year or two earlier).But,still this CD is loaded with freshness,wit,humor,and razzle dazzle bounciness.For swingers don't miss "Things are Looking Up","Who Cares","Soon","Of Thee I Sing","You've Got What Gets Me",and my favorite "Slap that Bass." The greatness here is that many of these songs have not been recorded over and over,so that many listeners,even jazz fans,may hear some (seemingly)brand new tunes.In fact,every song here is worth repeat listenings,and there are NO duds here,amazing for a 53-song CD.The ballads are just as good, from the familiar like "The Man I Love","A Foggy Day",to less known pieces like "Oh So Nice Nice",and "My One and Only". After hearing this CD you'll realize why Ella was called the "First Lady of Song".This is a timeless collection,I think Ella's tip top. And listen to the lyrics too,some of the most amusing and at times heart rending ever composed.The sad thing is that one will spend a freezing day you know where before hearing anything like this in the new song scene today.
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By A Customer on October 6, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Originally released having the honor as being the first stereo recordings,they were released separately as five separate albums in 1959, these gems preformed by Ella Fitzzgerald and Nelson Riddle have undergone many changes, being released later as an LP Boxed set, and a three CD set, down to the current release, yet they remain evergreen in American Popular Music. The world heard many previously unrecorded Gershwin songs such as "The Real American Folk Song" and "Just Another Rhumba". Ella Fitzgerald released a series of American Songbooks, which she would late expand to include Antonio Carlos Jobim. In these albums with exception of the last (not in the Verve series) she was in great voice, and introduced the American culture of the late 50's and early 60's to the great composers of the 20's and 30's. The combination of Ella and Nelson Riddle on these cuts is a combination that is hard to beat, Great intpertations of songs like "S'Wonderful" from Funny Face are comparable to the Frank Sinatra/Riddle recording of Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin". A truly great recording, of two of America's treasures.
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