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Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Swings Gently with Nelson

Album Notes

Compilation producer: Michael Lang.

Recorded between 1961 and 1962 in Los Angeles. Includes liner notes by James Gavin and original release liner notes by Benny Green.

"It's A Pity To Say Goodnight" and "My One And Only Love" are reissue bonus tracks and are not included on the original release of ELLA SWINGS GENTLY WITH NELSON.

Few album titles are as descriptive as ELLA SWINGS GENTLY WITH NELSON. This 1961 date finds both Ella Fitzgerald, fresh from her SONGBOOKS triumphs and an artistically and commercially satisfying partnership with Louis Armstrong, and Nelson Riddle, then the most in-demand arranger in Hollywood for his classic series of albums with Frank Sinatra, at their respective creative peaks.

Though it's near-impossible to upstage Fitzgerald, Riddle certainly deserves his co-billing. His arrangements are simply amazing, beautifully lush yet never cloyingly sweet. Fitzgerald, whose collaborations with Armstrong and Duke Ellington show that she always worked best with a creative foil, rises beautifully to the occasion, singing with both exuberance and remarkable control. The program, heavy on classic ballads instead of her more familiar uptempo tunes, gives her less of a showcase for her stunning scat solos, but emphasizes her often-overlooked lower register. Her singing is sexy, sultry and, as always, utterly unique.


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