Personnel includes: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington (vocals); Ernie Wilkins (conductor, arranger); Paul Quinichette, Zoot Sims (tenor saxophone); Charlie Shavers, Clifford Brown (trumpet); Herbie Mann (flute); Tony Scott (clarinet); Lou Levy, Paul Smith, Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Jones, John Malachi (piano); Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell (guitar); Wilfred Middlebrooks, Aaron Bell, Ray Brown, Joe Benjamin (bass); Gus Johnson, Lennie McBrowne, Ed Shaughnessy, Roy Haynes (drums); The Quincy Jones Orchestra; The Hal Mooney Orchestra; The Belford Hendricks Orchestra.
Recorded between 1954 and 1961. Includes liner notes by James Gavin.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This unique and thoughtful compilation brings together four of the best tunes by four of the greatest female jazz singers in history. As a result, listeners can compare and contrast the exuberant joy of Ella Fitzgerald's "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" and her virtuoso scat showcase "How High the Moon" with the roughened ache of Billie Holiday's voice in these mid-'50s small-band versions of her signature tunes "God Bless the Child" and "Strange Fruit." Sarah Vaughan displays equal ease with plush orchestras ("Lush Life," "Misty") and stripped-down bop ("Lover Man," "Lullaby of Birdland"), and all the aforementioned appearances can be measured against Dinah Washington's apparent ability to sing beautifully in any style thrown at her.