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Ella by Ella Fitzgerald
Released: Apr 2008
Label: Hallmark
It must've been hard being a jazz-based singer in the youth-crazed rock era. On this infamous 1969 session, Ella Fitzgerald covers material written by the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Smokey Robinson and others. The material is actually wisely chosen (well, maybe not Newman's "Yellow Man," which Ella treats without irony), but it's handled and arranged so stiffly that it's as if Fitzgerald was appearing on Sonny & Cher instead of interpreting them in her own sweet jazz way. To hear Ella doing the same kind of thing right, check out the superior Sunshine of Your Love.
Nick Dedina
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