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Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Johnny Mercer Song Book

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Johnny Mercer Song Book

...lush arrangements
UNI240 (Verve Music Group)
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Tracks: Listen and Download

Track Time Listen
1
Too Marvelous For Words

Too Marvelous For Words

Composer Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
02:33 Play
2
Early Autumn

Early Autumn

Composer Johnny Mercer, Woody Herman, Ralph Burns
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:52 Play
3
Day In Day Out

Day In Day Out

Composer Johnny Mercer, Rube Bloom
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
02:50 Play
4
Laura

Laura

Composer Johnny Mercer, David Raskin
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:45 Play
5
This Time The Dream's On Me

This Time The Dream's On Me

Composer Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
02:57 Play
6
Skylark

Skylark

Composer Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:13 Play
7
Single-O

Single-O

Composer Johnny Mercer, Gus Kahn
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:23 Play
8
Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give

Composer Johnny Mercer
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
02:36 Play
9
Trav'lin Light

Trav'lin Light

Composer Johnny Mercer, James Young, Jim Mundy
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:50 Play
10
Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun

Composer Johnny Mercer, J. Francis Burke, Lionel Hampton, Joseph Burke
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
04:57 Play
11
Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue)

Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue)

Composer Johnny Mercer
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:00 Play
12
I Remember You

I Remember You

Composer Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:41 Play
13
When A Woman Loves A Man

When A Woman Loves A Man

Composer Johnny Mercer, Gordon Jenkins, Bernie Hanighen
Soloist Ella Fitzgerald
Band Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
03:50 Play
Total Running Time 44 minutes
Prices shown in US Dollars

The album is notable as Fitzgerald's only songbook to concentrate on the work of a lyricist. Riddle's superb arrangements interact most beautifully with Fitzgerald on ballads like 'Midnight Sun' and 'Skylark'. Fitzgerald's impeccable swing is most evident on 'Something's Gotta Give' and 'Too Marvelous for Words'.

Licensed for download from Verve. 

Download includes - cover art

Along with her Rodgers and Hart collection, this is one of the best of Ella Fitzgerald's songbooks. Fitzgerald's assured and elegant voice is a perfect match for Mercer's urbane lyrics and Nelson Riddle's supple arrangements.

In light of this decorous setting, it's not surprising that Mercer's swagger-heavy numbers like 'I Wanna Be Around' and 'One More For My Baby' are skipped in favor of more poised selections such as 'Early Autumn' and 'Skylark.' Even traditionally hard-swinging numbers such as 'Day In Day Out' and 'Something's Gotta Give' are kept in check with Riddle's vaporous, flute-heavy backing and Fitzgerald's velvet tone. Slower numbers like 'Laura' and 'Midnight Sun' add dramatic contrast with their enigmatic tonal backdrops and elongated vocal phrasing.

Fitzgerald's Mercer songbook has become something of an overlooked gem partly because of the popularity of her Cole Porter and Gershwin collections. It's a shame, because this songbook is beautifully executed by Fitzgerald and Riddle and contains wonderful Mercer collaborations with, among others, Harold Arlen and Hoagy Charmichael.

This is definitely one for any Fitzgerald fan and not a bad introduction to her vast catalogue.

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