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

Ella FitzgeraldAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Price: $42.56 & FREE Shipping. Details
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MP3 Music, 73 Songs, 1998 $37.99  
Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, 1998 $42.56  
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Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Gershwin Songbook + Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, 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 (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,251 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Promenade (Walking The Dog)
2. March Of The Swiss Soldiers
3. Fidgety Feet
4. Prelude I
5. Prelude II
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Who Cares?
2. Looking For A Boy
3. They All Laughed
4. My Cousin In Milwaukee
5. Somebody From Somewhere
See all 21 tracks on this disc
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
See all 16 tracks on this disc
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)
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where music becomes art January 10, 2003
By A Customer
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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoke Alarm Award Winner July 24, 2001
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLA IS THE BEST! June 3, 2001
By A Customer
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELLA,NELSON,THE GERSHWINS,PURE CLASSIC MAGIC November 30, 2001
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George, Ira & Ella October 6, 1998
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothin' like it!
Someone had a really good idea assumed Nelson Riddle and Ella Fitzgerald should recordd something together, the results are like no other. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ULTRA
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella/Gershwin Unbeatable
I love Gershwin tunes and lyrics, I love Ella Fitzgerald's voice and style, the recordings are good, and there are lots of songs. Thanks
Published 8 months ago by Kay Casuccio
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella and Gershwin is a match made in heaven
Had been looking for the set for several years before I found it on Amazon. Words cannot do it justice, it's just that good!
Published 13 months ago by Haystack Hair
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time classic.
If you enjoy the music of the forties through the early sixties, this should be a foundation of your collection.
Published 13 months ago by rosmiami
5.0 out of 5 stars A voice that must be remembered.....
This is music that our younger generation must become familiar with. A voice that had some much going for it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by thomas l nelson
3.0 out of 5 stars Uninspired
I've just listened to the entire Ella's Gershwin songbook and couldn't agree with Brian more. This songbook seemed uninspired and Nelson Riddle is well, a notch above elevator... Read more
Published 14 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella sings Gershwin
This is generally acknowledged as the greatest of the eight superb selections that Ella Fitzgerald made from the Great American Songbook. Read more
Published on August 10, 2012 by Dr. H. A. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Why is this box set made in Germany?
Just got the box set and it is made in Germany. Anyone got the set made in Germany? All the other Song Books by Ella I got were made in USA. Can anyone comment on this, please?
Published on June 8, 2010 by Oleksandr Gulidov
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella & Nelson do Gershwin justice
Of the many songbooks that Ella Fitzgerald recorded during her tenure at Verve, this one can qualify as an unadulteraterd masterpiece. The reason? Read more
Published on November 12, 2008 by Dennis W. Wong
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