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Pure Ella: The Very Best of Ella Fitzgerald
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Customer Reviews:

  • This Fella Loves Ella
    Ella is an extraordinary and refreshing exception to most Jazz vocalists. Many Jazz singers have a very bad technique, producing their sound from their throats in an unhealthy manner. Ella, however, has the technique and stamina of a classical singer. This why her career peaked in her 40's and was able to sing until very late in her life.

    Her singing is pure joy. She never strains or manipulates her vocal chords to produce that gorgeous, rich voice that just melts your heart out. The ease and beauty with which she sings, frankly, makes me question her humanity.

    If you want the best of Ella Fitzgerald, THIS CD is it. It is the premiere comprehensive single-CD sampling of her career. The recording features some of her best collaborations with arrangers (Nelson Riddle, Billy May, etc.) and performers (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.)

    The musical selections are excellent. The Verve label has chosen a balance of 9 high-energy swing numbers and 9 romantic ballads.

    Some remarkable swingers are MACK THE KNIFE, a live recording in Berlin (1960) where she blanks out on a verse and has to improvise. I'm smiling thinking about it. Another is HOW HIGH THE MOON, in which she scats incredibly for about 6 minutes. Throughout the rendition she adds (and revises) brief tidbits of random American standard songs, like SMOKE GETS IN YOU EYES: "They ask me how I knew my true love was true/ I have course replied, 'Something here inside...SWEAT gets in my eyes!" Ella enjoys entertaining while she sings, and her infectious interpretations pull the listener in; especially on the 5 live recordings on this CD, where one finds himself laughing along with the audience at times.

    Stunning ballads include MISTY (with her musically sensitive accompanist Paul Smith). Wow! Her lyricism, intonations, and diction are impeccable. Here she sings in a hushed soft fashion that is like she's whispering in your ear. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW features its great, not often-heard verse, and such sincere, expressive singing.

    Buy this now. Ella will really impress you!...more info

  • What can I say?
    It's Ella, a pure delight from beginning to end. She was the master of vocal jazz. These arrangements are very well orchestrated, and the recordings let Ella's voice shine through....more info
  • Pure Ella: The Very Best of Ella Fitgerald
    A clear and crisp recording of a singer who has a remarkable voice. This is a classic and a favorite in my CD collection....more info
  • So-so.
    Not the very best, or even the second best of Ella Fitzgerald, by a looong shot! It's a survey, which is fine. But it misses the best of the song book material, in my opinion. Ella's interpretations of the American songbook was where she was at her most comfortable: Moderately bluesy, clear, agonizingly seductive and pure all at once....more info
  • An Excellent Beginner's Course To The Queen Of Jazz.
    For those getting into the magic of Lady Ella, this 18 song collection is certainly a solid appetizer. The songs capture the essence of Lady Ella: her fabulous singing, her one of a kind interpretive skills, her fabulous scatting and most of all, the passion she put into everything she sang.

    "Pure Ella" containd dome of Ella's most endearing recordings, among them her classic "failed" attempt at "Mack The Knife," (she has a ball on this one), her gender flopped "The Boy From Ipanema," her moving version of "Over The Rainbow," her excellent collaborations with Louis Armstrong on "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Summertime" and the soaring "How High The Moon." All these track represent prime Ella, when her voice was at her most powerful and her singing was second to none.

    The album's sound quality is excellent, and the packaging, which features an excellent essay by Will Freidwald. Definitely an essential purchase for those getting into Lady Ella....more info
  • The Best Singer in the world!!!!
    This woman is the Best singer I've ever heard.I'm only 20 years old and I just looooove her music so much....more info
  • Absolutely stellar CD

    This as a wonderful CD. The 18 cuts here say all that needs to be said about the art of Ella Fitzgerald. She obviously has a stellar reputation in the musical world. And this work shows why.

    Let's take a look at a sampling of the works here.

    "Mack the Knife": Her version of this Brecht-Weill-Blitzstein piece is marvelous. It's a jazzy version with a lot of life in her singing. Her voice works well with this tune. The improvisational aspect of her singing makes this an enchanting version of this standard. She makes the song her own.

    "They Can't Take That away from Me": There is a wonderful group with whom she sings (including Buddy Rich and Oscar Peterson). Her words are so clear and her technique so well rendered. This is a classic version. Made even more so by her duet with Louis Armstrong. The two voices can't be more different, but they end up working well together. The effect could not be more thrilling.

    "Night and Day": This classic Cole Porter song is well sung. There is a nice backing group. This version is smoothly sung in Ella's inimitable style. She catches the spirit of Porter's work. Bravissima!

    "Take the A Train": With Duke Ellington and his Orchestra (and Dizzy Gillespie). Another Wow! This is a classic collaboration of musical legends. The Orchestra provides compelling momentum to the song. Her scat singing plays well with the Orchestra. This scintillates; it is a Hall of Fame collaboration.

    "Summertime": Another Armstrong-Fitzgerald collaboration. And a great Gershwin tune. Yet another Hall of Fame collaboration. Armstrong's trumpet fairly sings. His "used up" voice is an odd contrast to Fitzgerald's smooth instrument. But it works well.

    So? This is a terrific album. It represents a brief and wonderful entr¨¦e to the work of Ella Fitzgerald.

    ...more info
  • Good, but not enough
    I really like Ella Fitzgerald. She was probably the greatest Jazz singer ever. This makes almost every song she sings nice, but I think this is not enough for a disc that aims to be the "very best" of Ella. Not all the songs in my opinion were the very best, there were many that were missing and some that are nice but not the best. Also the order sounds a little bit messy to me. In conclusion, I prefer other discs, but this one anyway is cheap and it's a cute introduction to the singer....more info
  • The Best.
    Ella is without question the greatest American singer of all time. Buy this one, buy any of them, buy them all. She never made a bad album. She opens her mouth and heaven flows. I would also suggest any of the biographies, including some on dvd with performances. This diva was, IS, the real thing - with a heart to match the voice....more info
    Every track on this CD brought out Ella's
    superiority of a vocal artist. I have been
    blessed to have seen Ella live in concert
    two times. Once as as solo performer at
    Indiana University and the other performace
    was in Chicago and the billing was titled
    "Sinatra, Fitzgerald, & The Duke" I have been able
    to relive these wonderful performances with this CD
    "Pure Ella" By the way, there is now a performer in
    Chicago who has her range and talent. Her name is Lisa
    McClowry and she can be be seen live with Tom Linsk most
    monday & thursdays at "The Red Head" in Chicago. Be there!
    You will not regret it!!!...more info
  • Pure Ella
    Pure perfection. Pure Jazz. Pure Ella is right . . .

    Mary Maralee...more info
  • The Gold Standard
    Ella is the gold standard for all female singers. She has the range of a classical singer, the soul of a blues singer, and the improvisational skills and phrasing of a jazz artist. If you want to begin a lifelong love affair with this great artist, this CD is the place to start. ...more info