"The First Lady of Song" is presented here on this fantastic 1971 album. Originally released by Reprise, this album features the legendary singer belting out such tunes as "Manteca" and "I Heard It Through The Grapevine."
Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Ella Fitzgerald; Dennis Budamir (guitar); Ernie Watts, Anthony Ortega, William Green (flute, piccolo); Marshall Royal (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Henry DeVega (alto saxophone); Ray Bojorquez, Harold Land (tenor saxophone); Richard Aplanalp (baritone saxophone); Larry McGuire, Alex Rodriquez, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Bobby Bryant , Paul Hubinon (trumpet); Arthur Maebe (French horn); William Tole, Alexander Thomas, J.J. Johnson , Thurman Green, Michael Wimberly, James Cleveland, Britt Woodman (trombone); Francisco DeSouza, Francisco Desouzaq, Modesto Duran (congas, bongos); Tommy Flanagan (piano); Joe Sample (organ, keyboards); Victor Feldman (vibraphone); Louie Bellson (drums).
Liner Note Author: Norman Granz.
Photographer: Ed Thrasher.
Unknown Contributor Role: Arthur Maebe.
Arranger: Gerald Wilson.
Ella Fitzgerald's most eclectic and stylish LP, Things Ain't What They Used to Be is a delightful mosaic of contemporary soul hits, perennial standards, and bossa nova numbers that capture the full breadth of the singer's genius. Produced by Norman Granz and arranged by Gerald Wilson, the album follows on the heels of the full-blown pop session Ella, adopting a similarly groove-oriented contextual approach but drawing on a more diverse pool of material -- evergreens like "Black Coffee," "Tuxedo Junction," and the sublime "Don't Dream of Anyone but Me" are made fresh and new, revitalized by Wilson's deeply soulful arrangements and Fitzgerald's breathtaking vocal acrobatics. Hits including "Sunny" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" are no less rewarding -- Fitzgerald's command of the songs is absolute, adding wrinkles and nuances the hit versions never imagined. ~ Jason Ankeny