Most helpful positive review
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Ella Swings With Santa and Friends
on November 10, 2004
Ella is perfection. This pairing of Ella and Christmas is beyond wonderful! My parents had one of those old compilation Christmas albums from the 70's (you know, the kind you could get really cheap at hardware and tire stores around the holidays)and it had Ella's version of Sleigh Ride on it. That was my first introduction to Ella. I was hooked, and I've become a life-long fan.
When this CD originally came out in the early 90's, I bought it and fell in love with Ella all over again. Then, when it was remastered and beefed up with extra tracks a few years ago, I bought it again. And I still love every minute of it. (My personal favorite is the laid-back jazz version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. It's much less depressing than the standard take that other singers have given us.)
A word about the "Alternate Takes" at the end of the CD: With the exception of Frosty, these are completely different recordings from the ones on the original album. The alternate versions of The Christmas Song and White Christmas were recorded at a different time with a different orchestra. The arrangements make a nice companion to the versions found on the original album, but they aren't simply "Alternate Takes" from the same recording session. Personally, I like hearing Ella sing the same song with completely different arrangements.
And then there's the alternate Frosty. Yes, it is annoying. But if you know a little about Ella, you know she had a great sense of humor and she loved kids. This wasn't the first time she sang in her "little girl" voice, and I'm sure it wasn't the last. Although it's not my favorite, taken in context I think it's a truly wonderful gem. And if a 6-year-old kid hears her singing Frosty and becomes a life-long fan, then it's definitely worth it to have this version included!