“Ella Fitzgerald sings George and Ira Gershwin’s songbook”


When Norman Granz launched the Verve label in 1956, it was essentially a vehicle for the recording career of Ella Fitzgerald, which he had been managing for several years. In fact, in 1955, Granz snatched Ella’s recording contract from Decca Records. And, the following year, Granz carried out two big projects for Ella, Ella Fitzgerald sings Cole Porter’s songbook,and Ella Fitzgerald sings Rodgers & Hart songbook. In 1957, meanwhile, they undertook the Ella Fitzgerald sings Duke Ellington’s songbook and, a year later, Ella Fitzgerald sings Irving Berlin songbook.

to listen Ella Fitzgerald sings George and Ira Gershwin’s songbook at present.

They kept on making their way through The great book of American songs and it was January 5, 1959, Ella began work on another major songbook, this one of the timeless classics of George and Ira Gershwin. “Love Is Here to Stay” was recorded on the first day, just like “The Man I Love” and “A Foggy Day”, two days later Ella did “Somebody Loves Me”, with “I’ve Got a Crush on You “being done on January 8th. In all, Ella made 57 Gershwin compositions; at 41, she was at the peak of her vocal abilities.

Ella and the Gerswhins were old friends. In the summer of 1950, Decca then had the idea of ​​making an album with just Ella and a piano accompaniment, in this case Ellis Larkins. The resulting album, Ella sings Gershwin is adorable.

“I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.” – Ira Gershwin

A new songbook meant a new arranger, and Granz finally brought Nelson Riddle into the studio with Ella, something he had been looking to do since arriving at Verve. It was the perfect combination with Ella and Riddle developing a strong friendship. His Gershwin sessions were interspersed with others during Hello love, sweet swingers songs and Become happy!; Granz took care of storing songs for these other albums when Ella’s busy touring schedule gave him time in the studio.

Gershwin’s songbook was such that the recording did not end until July 18, 1959. It was while Ella was recording Gershwin’s songbook that Norman Granz moved to Lugano, Switzerland. He was increasingly involved in promoting concerts and managing the careers of Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson in addition to Ella, and in the late 1960s he sold Verve Records to MGM. Prior to that, Granz made the JATP tour of Europe in February and, at the Deutschland Halle in Berlin, Ella was recorded for what has become Mack the Knife – Ella in Berlin.

The success of Ella Fitzgerald sings George and Ira Gershwin’s songbook if measured graphically it’s an average at best, spending just five weeks on the bestseller list, but that’s looking at this monumental recording from the wrong point of view. Ella takes songs that are much loved and much played and makes them fresh and alive, even new. It did, however, win a Grammy for Best Female Vocal Performance at the 1960 ceremony. And let’s not forget that it was a five-album set, which later became a 4CD set, with alternate takes. and other rarities. Immerse yourself in some of the greatest songs of any singer, anytime, anywhere.

Ella Fitzgerald sings George and Ira Gershwin’s songbook can be purchased here.

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