Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (Live)

Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (Live)

Ella Fitzgerald’s Verve songbook albums of the mid-’50s to mid-’60s stand as cultural landmarks, but there’s scant documentation of her performing these composer-specific projects live in concert. This unissued Irving Berlin item, from the personal collection of Verve founder Norman Granz, is a head-turning exception. With a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Paul Weston (who worked on the 1958 studio album as well), the First Lady of Song offers 15 gems from one of the world’s greatest composers, Israel Beilin (1888-1989). Berlin’s given name says much about the Jewish immigrant background that underscored his quintessential Americanness, and when Ella sings “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and other favorites, she captures the sound of Tin Pan Alley culture in full bloom. The audio is clear and strong, thanks to Gregg Field’s new mix of Granz’s private tapes. Comparing the live and studio versions might unlock secrets for the Fitzgerald connoisseur. Lesser-known numbers like “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” (a delicious ballad) and “Heat Wave” (done up in a mambo groove) round out the portrait of Berlin as a songwriter who did much to define the 20th century.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada