Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Herb Ellis (guitar); Lou Levy (piano); Wilfred Middlebrooks (bass instrument); Gus Johnson (drums).
Originally released on Verve Records in 1961, ELLA IN HOLLYWOOD is a straightforward collection of 12 familiar standards mostly given very simple, pop-oriented arrangements. Songs tend to run well under four minutes (a gently swinging "Just In Time" clocks in just under two), with only a minimum of room for Fitzgerald to break into her legendary scatting. The main exception is the centerpiece track, a nine-minute take on the Duke Ellington standard "Take the A Train," that gives Fitzgerald ample room to stretch out vocally. Although fans of her scat work might be somewhat disappointed by this mainstream set, ELLA IN HOLLYWOOD serves to remind just how gifted a stylist Fitzgerald was in the pop genre as well.