Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Paul Smith (piano); Jim Hall (guitar); Wilfred Middlebrooks (bass); Gus Johnson (drums).
Reissue producer: Phil Schaap.
Recorded live at Deutschlandhallen, West Berlin, West Germany on February 13, 1960. Includes liner notes by Dan Morgenstern.
The reissue of THE COMPLETE ELLA IN BERLIN... contains 4 tracks not included on the original release: "That Old Black Magic," "Our Love Is Here To Stay," "Love For Sale," and "Just One Of Thoses Things."
Ella Fitzgerald was at the peak of her form during her 1960 tour of Europe. Her Berlin concert is most remembered for her hilariously inventive version of "Mack the Knife," during which she forgot the words and substituted ones of her own that somehow fit, amazing herself in the process. With fine support from her quartet -- pianist Paul Smith, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks, drummer Gus Johnson -- Fitzgerald is brilliant throughout the well-rounded set, with highlights including "Misty" (a version very different from Sarah Vaughan's), "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Too Darn Hot," and a scat-filled "How High the Moon." This is essential music. ~ Scott Yanow
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