Ella At Zardi's (Live At Zardi’s/1956 - Remastered) Ella Fitzgerald
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- 1It All Depends On You (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:27
- 2Tenderly (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:14
- 3Why Don't You Do Right (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:27
- 4Cry Me A River (Live At Zardi’s/1956)04:07
- 5In A Mellow Tone (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:50
- 6Joe Williams's Blues (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:45
- 7A Fine Romance (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:26
- 8How High The Moon (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:34
- 9Gone With The Wind (Live At Zardi’s/1956)04:37
- 10Bernie's Tune (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:58
- 11S Wonderful (Live At Zardi’s/1956)01:49
- 12Glad To Be Unhappy (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:53
- 13Lullaby Of Birdland (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:31
- 14The Tender Trap (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:04
- 15The Angels Sing (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:33
- 16I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Live At Zardi’s/1956)04:19
- 17Little Boy (Live At Zardi’s/1956)01:47
- 18A-Tisket, A-Tasket (Live At Zardi’s/1956)02:27
- 19My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:11
- 20Airmail Special (Live At Zardi’s/1956)05:14
- 21I've Got A Crush On You (Live At Zardi’s/1956)03:17
Info for Ella At Zardi's (Live At Zardi’s/1956 - Remastered)
A completely unreleased live album by the peerless Ella Fitzgerald, Ella At Zardi’s: Verve Records will close out their year-long celebration of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald's centennial with the ultimate present for her 100th birthday – a completely unreleased live album.
More than 60 years after it was recorded, Ella At Zardi's will finally be released on HighResAudio. Today, WBGO, the global leader in jazz radio, premiered the album's opening track, "It All Depends on You," both on the air and at WBGO.org, with an accompanying article. The song, popularized by Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, was never released on any of Fitzgerald's albums, making this a truly rare performance.
Recorded on February 2, 1956 at Zardi's Jazzland in Hollywood, Ella At Zardi's features the entirety of the evening's two-set, 21-song performance, which captures an inspired Fitzgerald, backed by a stellar trio comprised of pianist Don Abney, bassist Vernon Alley and drummer Frank Capp, singing and swinging in front of an animated, adoring crowd, just days before she'd go on to record the album that would catapult her to stardom. The concert was originally recorded by Norman Granz to celebrate the creation of, and Fitzgerald's signing to, Verve Records, which Granz founded largely to give Fitzgerald the attention that he felt she wasn't receiving at her then-current label, Decca. Ella At Zardi's was planned as the label's inaugural release but shelved in favor of the now-classic studio album Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book, which kicked off a best-selling, signature series of Song Book releases. The Zardi's tapes languished in Verve's vaults for six decades.
Ella At Zardi's captures the brilliance and inspiration Fitzgerald's performances embodied at the time. As veteran jazz journalist Kirk Silsbee observes in the album's liner notes, "We can hear a fluid and joyous singer who operates with almost giddy authority. Ella manages to find a way of swinging almost every number, no matter the tempo. She anticipates her studio songbook albums with Duke Ellington's 'In A Mellow Tone,' Cole Porter's 'My Heart Belongs To Daddy,' the Gershwins' 'S'Wonderful' and 'I've Got a Crush On You,' and Jerome Kern's 'A Fine Romance'... Ella uses her intelligent phrasing and rhythmic sense in inventive and exhilarating ways. Her repertoire was vast and she didn't always remember the correct lyrics of a song. But the way she spontaneously redesigns the text in the most musical of ways is Fitzgerald's signature."
Ella At Zardi's stands out for its history-making rediscovery of a vintage performance by one of jazz's greatest artists. As Granz enthuses in his stage introduction, "This is for real; for me she's the greatest there is—Miss Ella Fitzgerald!"
Ella Fitzgerald, vocals
Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
was, along with Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday, one of the most important vocalists to emerge from the big-band era. Her style is marked by a sunny outlook, a girlish innocence, and a virtuoso command of her voice.
Fitzgerald was born out of wedlock in Newport News, Virginia, to a laundress mother and a father who disappeared when she was three years old. Along with her mother and her mother’s new boyfriend who functioned as a stepfather, she soon moved to Yonkers, New York, where she began her schooling. Around the third grade she started dancing, a pursuit that became almost an obsession. In 1932, when she was fifteen, her mother died suddenly of a heart attack. Her stepfather treated her badly, but an aunt took the teenager to live with her in Harlem. This arrangement did not last long; Fitzgerald ran away in 1934 to live on the streets. Late that year she won a talent contest at the Apollo Theater; she had entered as a dancer, but nervousness caused her to sing instead. Several months later she joined drummer Chick Webb’s big band, where she mostly sang novelties like 'Vote for Mr. Rhythm'. In 1938 she recorded 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket', her own adaptation of a turn-of-the-century nursery rhyme, which took the country by storm and eventually sold a million copies. When Webb died in 1939 the band’s management installed Fitzgerald as leader.
In 1942 the band broke up and Fitzgerald became a single act, touring with various other popular names of the day. She also became interested in scat singing and the newly emerging style known as bebop, and in 1945 she recorded a landmark version of 'Flying Home.' Several tours with the Dizzy Gillespie band also contributed to her assimilation of the bebop style.
In the late 1940s Fitzgerald began to tour with the Jazz at the Philharmonic troupe, working with such leading musicians as saxophonist Lester Young, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, pianist Oscar Peterson, and bassist Ray Brown, to whom she was married for four years. JATP impresario Norman Granz became increasingly influential in her career, and in 1953 he became her manager.
Three years after that he became her record producer as well, recording her on his own Verve label. He wasted little time in having Fitzgerald record a double album of Cole Porter songs. Fitzgerald made many wonderful albums for Verve in the following decade, but the six songbooks occupy a special place in her discography. They were instrumental in expanding Fitzgerald’s appeal beyond that of a 'jazz singer' and creating a demand for her in venues not usually open to jazz artists.
For die-hard jazz fans, though, the well-polished jewels of the songbook series lack the raw energy of Fitzgerald’s live performances. Happily, Granz released several landmark concert albums by her as well. Especially exciting was a 1960 Berlin concert, which featured an electrifying performance of an impromptu take on 'Mack the Knife,' which became a Top 30 single. Fitzgerald usually performed with a trio or quartet, but there were also appearances with larger groups, such as the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras. By the 1960s Fitzgerald had become wealthy enough to retire, but the love of performing drove her on — she appeared regularly until just a couple of years before her death in 1996. Sidemen came and went, but except when health problems intervened she performed as much as humanly possible, sometimes singing concerts in two different cities in one day. Source: Verve Music (Phil Bailey). Excerpted from Ken Burns’ Jazz: The Definitive Ella Fitzgerald
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