Ella Fitzgerald Ella at the Opera House (Live) [Japanese Import]
- Released: June 28, 2011
- Originally Released: 2011
- Label: Universal Japan
Record Collector (magazine) - p.955 stars out of 5 -- "Fitzgerald is in sparkling form here, lilting her jazz ballads and unleashing amazing scat routines. Essential."
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Sonny Stitt (alto saxophone); Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Flip Phillips (tenor saxophone); Roy Eldridge (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Oscar Peterson (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Jo Jones, Connie Kay (drums).
Recorded live at the Chicago Opera House, Chicago, Illinois on September 29, 1957 and at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California on October 7, 1957. Includes liner notes by Phil Schaap.
A memorable 1957 recording of Jazz at the Philharmonic. The date features impeccable personnel; for all but the final two tracks, Ella Fitzgerald performs with the Oscar Peterson Trio, which provides light, tasteful accompaniment that swings solidly behind Ella and never distracts from her vocals. The set's final selections feature an all-star jam band that includes such luminaries as Roy Eldridge, J.J. Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Stan Getz. Though these musicians aren't exactly given a chance to stretch out here, the very idea of these legends backing the First Lady of Song will be enough to make jazz buffs drool.
It should almost go without saying that Ella is in superb form on this recording. While it is rare to find a studio date on which the vocalist's melting timbre, terrific range and perfect elocution aren't in evidence, it's in concert that she really works at full force. Here, her joyous exuberance powers favorites like "It's All Right with Me," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," and "Them There Eyes," while bounding scat solos make her treatments of "Stompin' At The Savoy" and "Oh, Lady Be Good" instant classics. AT THE OPERA HOUSE is a sure bet for casual fans and collectors alike.
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