Ella Fitzgerald is rightfully adored for her superb, often-definitive interpretations of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart and Gershwin tunes, which are well documented in her Song Book series. The addition of the Jerome Kern Song Book to Fitzgerald's discography was recorded in 1963 and proved Fitzgerald's voice was as golden as ever.
Age was beginning to colour her singing a little and that texture adds a beautiful dimension to songs like the dark 'Why Was I Born?' and the yearning 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man'. Nelson Riddle's charts are typically smart and swinging, with a lush, full sound that balances punch and lyricism. Fitzgerald's ebullient delivery and honey-rich timbre bring out the humour of 'A Fine Romance', the wistfulness of 'I'm Old Fashioned' and the tender romance of 'The Way You Look Tonight', putting her distinctive stamp on each.
It's sure to please fans of Kern and big-band standards, and for aficionados of Fitzgerald's other Song Book albums, this is a must.