Album #19 – Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook

Album #19

It took me five days to want to listen to this album. I apologize to all you readers out there. It’s been a rough past few days. But I’m back and here to stay. I have only one major issue with this album. In the wise words of Peter Jennings: “It’s too LONG!!!! Long, Long, Long, Long. I told you, it’s too f’ing long!!!” I appreciate Ella’s voice and influence on jazz. But, this album was just too long. I could not find the original track listing anywhere, so I listened to the Verve reissue from 1998. I got about half way through Disc 2 and I didn’t listen to the two fanfares at the beginning of Disc 1. I’m sure this album was not as long as this when it was first released back in 1959. I do appreciate Ella’s voice though and it shines on these songs written by the Gershwin brothers. This was pop music 50 and 60 years ago. Ella does all of these songs justice. The arrangements are superb. I have never heard her voice before the way it is on this album. But, in today’s fast paced world, The 1998 Verve Reissue is just too long!!! I had to even take breaks from the music. It got to be background music after a while. But, I did get to appreciate Ella’s voice within the context of these classic songs. Highlights include: Lets Call The Whole Thing Off and Strike Up The Band (The intro to this version sounds like the 20th Century Fox fanfare!!). Overall I give this album a 3 out of 5. Ella’s voice is one of the best in Jazz but the album got to be long winded and boring with no depth. Ella was just singing these songs, not putting her emotions into them. That’s the problem with this album.

Next: The Genius Of Ray Charles by Ray Charles

Here’s the Peter Jennings quote in a video below, he says it near the end:

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