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Mack the Knife: The Complete Ella in Berlin [Live]

Ella FitzgeraldAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Price: $17.34 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 19 Songs, 1993 $9.49  
Audio CD, Live, 1993 $17.34  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Setting Up The Stage: Tuning Up; Granz And Fitzgerald TalkingNorman Granz0:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. That Old Black MagicElla Fitzgerald 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Love Is Here To StayElla Fitzgerald 3:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Gone With The WindElla Fitzgerald 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. MistyElla Fitzgerald 2:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Applause And Fanfare InterludeElla Fitzgerald0:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Lady Is A TrampElla Fitzgerald 2:40$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Fanfare And AnnouncementElla Fitzgerald0:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Man I LoveElla Fitzgerald 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Love For SaleElla Fitzgerald 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Just One Of Those ThingsElla Fitzgerald 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. SummertimeElla Fitzgerald 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Too Darn HotElla Fitzgerald 3:16$0.69  Buy MP3 
listen14. Applause And Fanfare Interlude (Live (1960/Berlin))Ella Fitzgerald0:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. LoreleiElla Fitzgerald 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Mack The KnifeElla Fitzgerald 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Fanfare And Announcement (Live (1960/Berlin))Ella Fitzgerald0:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. How High The MoonElla Fitzgerald 6:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Applause And Closing FanfareElla Fitzgerald 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Mack the Knife: The Complete Ella in Berlin + Ella in Rome: Birthday Concert
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000046QI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,957 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

A 43-year-old Ella rolls through her typical routine in feisty fashion on this 1960 recording, which documents the opening show of her European tour. There's the Satchmo impersonation (a joyous "Mack the Knife"), the lengthy scat showcase ("How High the Moon," on which she quotes Charlie Parker's "Ornithology"), and a bevy of Gershwin and Porter tunes. Supported by pianist Paul Smith's quartet (with the elegant Jim Hall on guitar), Ella's voice sounds earthier than usual and her phrasing is as appealing as ever. She's sublimely tender on "Misty" and wonderfully sultry on "Too Darn Hot." The CD reissue includes two unreleased tracks from the Berlin concert plus two 1956 gems (including a stylish "Love for Sale") that were mistakenly pressed on this release. Upon its initial release, the album picked up two Grammies and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Pop chart; its acclaim was well deserved. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

It entered into jazz lore when, at this 1960 Berlin concert, Ella forgot the words to Mack the Knife ; she improvised her way out of it in an inventive way that amazed even herself!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that made an Ella fan out of me... August 14, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was in 10th grade, and read a review of this in ..., which I was not supposed to be reading at all. I bought it because I wanted to be like Hugh Hefner and like jazz and be cool, instead of what I was, a nerdy shy kid who had not bloomed and whose family was more "upper poor" than "lower middle class." It was 1960. When I listened to Ella, singing in Berlin, the focal point of the Cold War, standards like "How High the Moon" and "Mack the Knife" and "Too Darn Hot" I just transcended my immediate environment and for 40 minutes I was worthy of that ...Magazine. Imagine this orphan black woman, holding the concert stage in Germany only 15 years after the Nazi disaster, and having her audience eating out of her hand. Remarkable event, memorably preserved. Read all the reviews, then decide if this is worth adding to your CD shelf. I know MY decision!
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT Ella's Best Live Recording May 8, 2001
By Peter
Format:Audio CD
Yes, you heard it right. I know I will get hate mail for saying this, but I will go out on a limb to say Ella has produced BETTER live recordings captured on CD elsewhere. This is no reflection that her Berlin concert was bad. Perhaps Ella has been a victim of her own brilliance for always achieving near perfection in her live performances.
Listening to this CD, the obvious highlight is the oft talked about title track, "Mack the Knife", where Ella forgot the lyrics a minute into the song and made up the rest of the words without skipping a beat and perfectly improvising to the song's melody a la Fitzgerald. It's a miraculous feat that has entered the jazz hall of fame and folklore as one of the greatest moments not only in jazz, but in music history. "Mack the Knife" solidified Fitzgerald's standing in the music biz for the rest of her life, helping her escape the shadow of overwhelming sentiment and praise for Billie Holiday after Lady's premature death from a lifetime of drug and emotional abuse. The other great track here is the 8-minute track "How High the Moon" that Ella scats with a frenetic, pulsating charm that leaves you breathless at the finish line.
But aside from these two standout tracks, the rest of the CD isn't all that memorable. The marvels of modern CD technology has unmasked a detected fatigue in Ella's voice that she somehow cannot hide. Maybe it was the killer tour schedule (mentioned in liner notes) that did her in, but it's definitely noticeable. If you're mostly curious about the two great tracks, "Mack the Knife" and "How High the Moon", I would recommend purchasing those tracks elsewhere on many of Ella's compilations (Compact Jazz on Verve being one).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a rocker, but... January 2, 2006
Format:Audio CD
if I could give this 50 stars, I would.

Ella's voice is truly nonpareil, and while I wasn't immediately in love with every song on the album, the legendary Mack the Knife, Too Darn Hot, The Lady is a Tramp, and How High the Moon kept me playing it again and again.

Many years later, I love every single song and this is still my favorite of my Ella cds (and I have a lot of them!), the one I play the most. It puts me in a good mood every time.

Her crystalline voice is always spectacular, but in a live setting, as pointed out by others, her creativity and scatting ascend to stellar heights. And there's an added quality of warmth in her voice not captured on studio recordings.

When I was in high school (30 years ago?), I had the chance to meet Ms. Fitzgerald. She was truly a gracious woman, and, as another reviewer pointed out, so truly humble in the face of her awesome talent. When I told her I listened to Mack the Knife every night before I went to bed, she said, "Don't do that, honey, it'll give you nightmares," and said she was also happy to hear when young people enjoyed her music.

I am listening to How High the Moon right now. Amazing.

If you haven't heard this cd, you are not just missing out on a legendary album and piece of music history, but a wonderful and joyous listening experience.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the praise is so well deserved, and I have to add! August 21, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I love Ella Fitzgerald, and I rarely do I go a day without listening to an Ella CD since I've been introduced to her outstanding talent. I went out on a whim and bought this album, expecting great Ella as usual. But how wrong I was! I have never been so crazy about an album as I am about this one. Every song is out of this world and the accompaniment is just as wonderful. Standouts include "That Old Black Magic", "Too Darn Hot", and my personal favorite "How High the Moon?" Whoever said Ella lacks feeling in her delivery needs to listen to this album, and recognize that melodrama does not always equal feeling. Ella epitomizes sunniness and spontaneity in this live album that I wouldn't give anything less than five stars. If you love Ella, do yourself a favor and buy this album -- thinks ranks as one of her top recordings.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the most famous live performance in jazz. December 2, 1999
Format:Audio CD
This is arguably the most famous live performance in jazz, and with good reason. This is Ella at her peak. Arriving in Berlin, performing at the Deutschlandhallen, this album runs the full dynamic gamut. On the one hand, it contains a subtle "Summertime" where her melodic embellishments are absolutely inspired. But then Ella, now in the home of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, decides to fill the set with "Mac the Knife," recently made a hit by both Bobby Darrin and Louis Armstrong. When the words come unraveled before her, her improvisation is awe-inspiring. This is directly followed with the definitive live "How High the Moon," complete with an 8 minute scat that is unequalled. This reissue is somewhat marred by the presence of two tracks mistakenly thought to have been part of the performance, but which are of a noticeably different character. Nonetheless, amazing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A real collectors item. I grew up on this music. Very good
Published 1 month ago by clancy mcclanahan
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Ella....
What can I say? It's a super performance, great CD. I recommend it highlly. Also, packed well and came as seller said it would.
Published 5 months ago by SLA
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God For Ella!
No matter what mood I'm in, listening to Ella is sure to improve it! Many of these songs can be found on her "Songbook" recordings but it's great to hear them live! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Scott Dorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Ella's finest and sheer joy
Ella at her best and in my opinion, her best album. My grandparents gave me this gem in vinyl when I was 15 or so. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gary S. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
The ad lib on Mack The Knife is amazing!!! If you are a new Ella fan I recommend this album
Published 11 months ago by Albert McCorvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella Rules!
If you've never heard her sing Mac the Knife in Berlin, you are missing out. She forgets the words, but keeps singing . . . she won a grammy award for this performance. Read more
Published 11 months ago by shigg
5.0 out of 5 stars A Child's Love
My great-niece heard "Mack the Knife" and wanted a copy, but only by Ella Fitzgerald and she absolutely loved that cut and some of the others; she just turned eleven and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. Levi Harrod
4.0 out of 5 stars the great one
Ella is always great. I wish this was a video recording.A great star and great person this is my favorite
Published 13 months ago by doofer
5.0 out of 5 stars A CD you never grow tired of hearing
We have listened to this CD for many years. It exudes warmth and personality and was originally performed in Berlin in 1960. Ella Fitzgerald got a STANDING ovation in Berlin. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sunshine
5.0 out of 5 stars Ella can sing
Ella sings the song, not makes noises like many current "singers" do. She has creativity on the spot, which she demonstrated in Mack The Knife. Read more
Published 18 months ago by cctyker
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