Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Ellis Larkins, Paul Smith, Lou Levy (piano); Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis (guitar); Wilfred Middlebrooks, Joe Mondragon (bass); Alvin Stoller, Stan Levey, Gus Johnson (drums).
Producers: Milt Gabler, Norman Granz.
Compilation producer: Bryan Koniarz.
Recorded between 1950 & 1961. Includes liner notes by Al Young.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel (guitar); Ellis Larkins, Lou Levy, Paul Smith (piano); Gus Johnson , Alvin Stoller (drums).
Liner Note Author: Al Young.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; New York, NY; Nola Recording Studio, New York, NY; Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA; United Recorders, Hollywood, CA.
Illustrator: Am‚lie Hazard.
Photographer: Herman Leonard.
This 16-track collection features Ella Fitzgerald in a variety of musical settings singing romantic songs of love. The disc covers the years 1950 to 1961 with songs taken from the Verve and Decca archives. Four songs are culled from Intimate Ella, which has pianist Paul Smith as her sole accompanist. For the six songs from Pure Ella, she is backed by the wonderful pianist Ellis Larkins. A lovely take from this session on the Gershwin brothers "I've Got a Crush on You" is a highlight of the compilation. Two tracks are lifted from the gently swinging Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! with backing by a small combo. Three songs are extracted from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook; two with small-combo backing including Paul Smith on piano, one, the haunting "Wait Till You See Her," with Barney Kessel providing guitar. The disc closes out with a song taken from Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book. "Russian Lullaby" is a spare track with Fitzgerald's majestic vocals supported by viola and harp. Fitzgerald sounds marvelous throughout, she could sing your phone bill and make it sound like a heavenly choir, and the song selection is top notch. There are a lot of Ella Fitzgerald collections available, this is a solid if not essential addition to them and also a nice disc for a romantic evening. ~Tim Sendra