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Sings Irving Berlin Import

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, February 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 two CD set including bonus tracks. Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook series of albums are rightly famed as being some of the greatest vocal Jazz ever and The Irving Berlin Songbook is one of the best. Featured in its entirety along with bonus tracks, this edition contains 38 glorious tracks. Jazz Manifesto.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B001MEYEUK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,979 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "marleyscott" on November 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This handsomely repackaged collection of 32 masterfully crafted songs by American composer Irving Belin stands as part of the greatest body of work produced by any 20th century popular singer. In compiling her monumental songbook collection Fitzgerald paid tribute to America's "big five", Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. She also recorded the works of Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, superb but arguably second tier composers.
Of the "big five", Berlin is admittedly the most sentimental and perhaps least urbane. Where Richard Rogers could tell of ladies playing craps, (The Lady Is A Tramp) and Cole Porter could write of sniffing cocaine, (I Get A Kick Out Of You) and illicit love, (Love For Sale) Berlin was content to praise the joys of Easter Bonnets, White Christmas and Alexander's Ragtime Band. But let's not forget his more than capable hand at romance with the likes of Cheek To Cheek, Blue Skies and I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm.
As with all of Ella's songbooks, the arrangements, the selections and of course her superlative styling make this essential listening. I do have a preference for the Cole Porter and Rogers & Hart songbooks, but this collection still rates five stars. How could you miss with Ella and Berlin?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John P Bernat on September 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Irving Berlin's music, performed as originally written, does not sound at all like it would "fit" Ella's style.

But it does.

In fact, Ella's interpretation of these classics just about defines uniquely American music. I was so taken with my "personal discovery" of these classics, and this collection finds and displays only the very, very best.

You'll love it, and wonder how you could claim to understand American music before you've given it a thorough hearing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By hbubi on August 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ella is superlative. We know that. Berlin's tunes neither have the wry urban sophistication of Porter nor the jazzy complexity of Ellington, but they have a compelling simplicity and honesty. Ella's versions are the best out there. In fact, "Blue Skies" is in my mind one of the top five Ella songs, and that says a great deal indeed. There are many standouts here, including "Putting on the Ritz", which is a great party song. Enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sasha VINE VOICE on April 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
What a strange marriage,this,and how wonderful it all worked out at the end - producer Norman Granz (should we call him "Granz the uncanny"?) had vision about introducing Ella over to non-jazz,mainstream audience and succeeded with series of now-classic "songbook" albums.Eight of these albums,recorded between 1956 to 1964 placed Fitzgerald at the top of her game and into pantheon of the best singers US had to offer - not only they did wonders for Fitzgerald herself who was singing novelties ("Chew chew chew your bubble gum") for "Decca" just a few years earlier,but they also standard of how tribute albums should be done,became beloved best-sellers for decades and brought new shine on old songs by composers who welcomed touch of her magic.
True,it has been said that Norman Granz became obsessed with "Songbook" idea and simply recorded everything by certain composer,without considering does Fitzgerald actually understand the words or not (there were some funny outtakes out of Gershwin sessions that showed this) and I must say that too often I find Fitzgerald singing "pretty" but floating in a cloud and probably not having a clue what's actually going on - she was focused on music and melody,lyrics were never her forte - in fact,all that wicked Cole Porter sparks went in one ear and out on the other where she was concerned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chip on June 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am neither an audiophile nor an expert on Irving Berlin and Ella Fitzgerald. I simply know what I like and I like this CD a whole lot! No disappointments here!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones on August 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Out of some 1500 tunes for which Berlin composed both words and music, only about 10% are frequent visitors to the concert or CD repertoire. Well, we have 32 of them here, sung by Ella to the arrangements and accompaniment of the Paul Weston Orchestra. Most of the tunes on the double CD disc are taken from shows or films that Berlin scored (often for Fred Astaire), though a couple did see the light of day in Tin Pan Alley.

Many of the `standards' are here: `Let's face the music and dance', `Cheek to cheek', `Change partners', `Reaching for the moon', and so on. The Tin Pan Alley tunes include his first hit, `Alexander's ragtime band', the `Russian lullaby', and the perennial favourite, `Always'.

Berlin had a somewhat difficult love life. His first wife, Dorothy Goetz, died shortly after their honeymoon in Cuba in 1912: the cathartic `When I lost you' that he composed at the time isn't included here. But `All by myself' from a 1921 revue is. He had a difficult time courting his second wife because she was the heiress of an electric distributing system magnate who didn't think a penniless composer was good enough for his daughter. These difficulties are reflected in several of Berlin's songs of the time. [Others appear on Sinatra's All Alone CD].

The wistful `Suppertime' is also featured here. It comes from the 1933 show (revue) As Thousands Cheer portraying scenes based on national newspaper headlines, a revue that also gave us `Easter parade' and `Heat wave'. `Suppertime' is a black American woman's lament for her lynched husband.

This double CD is an attractive package that will appeal to any Berlin or Ella Fitzgerald fans.
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