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Sings Irving Berlin Import


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Audio CD, Import, February 10, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B001MEYEUK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Ella's versions are the best out there.
hbubi
Highly recommended for every person on the planet.
F. Morris Rosman
I wore out my old cassette format of this album.
PRBUDSMAN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 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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8 of 8 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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6 of 6 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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4 of 4 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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2 of 2 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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By ULTRA on August 26, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Not her best. While many will beg to differ I my feelings of this collection is unswayed. The main issues are more to do with the arrangements, verses quality of production. The tempos are too slow, in my opinion. The [lower] keys in which a lot of these tunes are performed doesn't give the melodies any power. Seems as though they should be in the next few keys up. I edited most of the tracks on my MP3 software with all of the changes that I saw fit, and they came out just as I imagined, spectacular! This is how they should've been recorded in the first place. However, my review is not based on the changes I've made, but rather the sound of each song as they were originally recorded. So, In my opinion, this 'Book is not the best that it could've been.

In terms of sound quality, every track is crystal clear. The band sounds great, but definitely needs some cayenne! Irving Berlin is a great composer, so it isn't the songs, but, again, the arrangements. 'Top Hat, White Tie, & Tails' sounds amazing sped up, as does 'Let yourself go', 'You can have him' and 'Fancy free'. Perhaps, if Nelson Riddle were on board for this project it'd be better. In short, I wasn't too thrilled with this collection.
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