Originaly released in 1957, Ella Fitzgerald's Duke Ellington song book
is one of the great albums in the history of jazz. Produced by Norman Granz,
Ella had Duke Ellington's band musicians at her side which played on her
level of perfection. The clarity and elasticity of her voice, her sense for
the rhythm and her scat-songs can be fully appreciated on this CD. Caravan,
I'm Beginning to See the Light, Perdido, It don't Mean a
Thing, there are a lot of other tunes that could be added to this list of
all-time highlights. A must.
Something to Live For is the
first album to include an overview of Ella's recordings for Decca in the
years 1937 to 1955 and for Verve from 1956 to 1966. The first CD with
Decca-titles is very commercial, often arranged in bad taste. Ella's
abilities only shine through on a few takes such as How High the Moon.
The song But Not For Me represents her collaboration with the pianist
Ellis Larkins that marks the highlight of her Decca-years according to Gary
Giddins. The second CD unites recordings produced by Norman Granz for Verve.
Although also arranged for popular taste, these songs are on a higher level,
e.g. Mr. Paganini, Round Midnight, Yesterdays and Sweet
Georgia Brown. Still, the perfect voice of Ella Fitzgerald needs a perfect
orchestra to accompany her.