The fourth in a five-volume series from the obscure British label Acrobat, The Legendary, Vol. 4 concentrates on the series of late-'30s and early-'40s sides recorded by Ella Fitzgerald just after she took over Chick Webb's Orchestra upon the leader's premature death. Early in her solo career Ella was recording a mix of ballads and up-tempo material; while later in her career she would excel at both, the faster songs here are mostly novelties of small worth (forward to "My Wubba Dolly" for all the evidence you can handle). Highlights come with the wealth of ballad material, including "Stairway to the Stars," "Sugar Blues," and "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry." For the collectors who want all of her material, there's the excellent chronological series on Classics, while listeners new to Ella will far prefer a less exhausting collection.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush