Personnel includes: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Ray Brown, Harry Carney, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Roy Eldridge, Mercer Ellington, Herb Ellis, Tommy Flanagan, Stan Getz, Paul Gonsalves, Freddie Green, Johnny Hodges, Joe Pass, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, Cootie Williams.
Recorded between 1953 and 1979.
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Freddie Green, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass (guitar); Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Kenny Hing, Danny Turner , Eric Dixon , Bobby Plater, Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone); Johnny Hodges, Russell Procope (alto saxophone); Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis , Paul Gonsalves, Stan Getz , Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Harry Carney (baritone saxophone); Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn); Cootie Williams, Herb Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Mercer Ellington, Pete Minger, Ray Brown , Roy Eldridge, Sonny Cohn, Paul Cohen , Cat Anderson (trumpet); Mel Wanzo, Mitchell Wood, Dennis Wilson , Al Grey, Lawrence Brown , Bill Hughes , Chuck Connors, Buster Cooper (trombone); Count Basie, Ray Tunia, Jimmy Jones , Paul Smith , Tommy Flanagan (piano); Jackie Davis (organ); Ed Thigpen, Gus Johnson , J.C. Heard, Louie Bellson, Mickey Roker, Bobby Durham (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: Lee Jeske.
Recording information: Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Los Angeles, CA (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); MGM Studios, Los Angeles, CA (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Nichigeki Theatre, Tokyo, Japan (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Ronnie Scott's, London, England (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Santa Monica (CA) Civic Auditorium (11/18/1953-07/12/1979); Theatre De Verdure, Nice, France (11/18/1953-07/12/1979).
Photographer: Victor Kalin.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Duke Ellington Orchestra; Count Basie Orchestra.
Part of a Fantasy sampler series that features musicians (and in this case a notable vocalist) performing the blues, this CD features Ella Fitzgerald on 11 performances taken from a variety of sessions. Although she never specialized in the blues, Ella had no difficulty swinging over blues changes and sometimes putting strong emotion into the lowdown variety. There is one song apiece from the 1950s and '60s, while the remainder of the program dates from 1971-1979. Ella's rendition of "C-Jam Blues" at the Santa Monica Civic in 1972 is a true classic, and other highlights include "Duke's Place" (with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1966), "I'm Walkin'," and the lengthy "Basella," with Count Basie's big band. But the material is easily available in more complete form elsewhere, making this reissue more of a sampler for casual fans. ~ Scott Yanow