Ella Fitzgerald

1936-1950

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AllMusic Review by

Ella Fitzgerald spent the 15 years bridging 1936 and 1950 recording for the Decca label -- home at one point or another during those years to some of the best vocal jazz artists of the period: herself, of course, plus Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, and the Mills Brothers, among others. The British JSP collection, 1936-1950, is a solid summation of those years, though it swipes most of the formula from an earlier deluxe box set, American GRP's Ella: The Legendary Decca Recordings. Like that set, this one divides its contents thematically, presenting a full disc of duets (of which Fitzgerald performed many), a full disc of hits (she had a few), one of jazz performances, and a final one of standards ("Evergreens"). It's an effective way to anthologize this frenetic period in Ella Fitzgerald's career, when the label recorded a little of everything and hoped that something would become a hit. Most of her duets are delightful, since she was often paired with equally talented singers (Armstrong, Jordan, the Mills Brothers, the Delta Rhythm Boys), and her jazzier sides reveal Fitzgerald as an incomparable interpreter, swinger and scatter; just listen to "How High the Moon," "Oh, Lady Be Good," or "I'm Beginning to See the Light." The GRP collection includes more detailed notes and many more pictures, but this set is a proper wrap-up of a neglected period in Ella Fitzgerald's career.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:11
2 3:14
3
feat: Louis Jordan
2:41
4 2:23
5 2:24
6 3:22
7 3:11
8
feat: Four Keys
3:19
9
feat: Randy Brooks
3:08
10
feat: Taft Jordan
2:48
11 3:09
12 2:55
13
feat: Louis Jordan
2:43
14 3:18
15 2:28
16 3:15
17
feat: Louis Jordan
2:38
18 3:11
19 2:40
20 2:54
21
feat: Randy Brooks
3:26
22
feat: Sy Oliver
2:57
23
feat: Louis Jordan
3:44

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:17
2 3:14
3
2:57
4 2:42
5 3:13
6 2:49
7 2:38
8 3:23
9 2:42
10 2:55
11 3:12
12 3:16
13 3:03
14 2:36
15 3:11
16 2:40
17 3:13
18 3:09
19 2:32
20 3:13
21 3:14
22 3:06

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:17
2 2:56
3 2:34
4 2:49
5 2:59
6 3:17
7 3:17
8 2:45
9 3:11
10 2:29
11 3:07
12 2:38
13 2:54
14 3:01
15
feat: Sy Oliver
3:20
16 3:17
17 2:54
18 3:01
19 3:19
20 2:42
21 2:42
22 3:06

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:02
2 2:46
3 4:07
4 3:18
5 3:15
6 3:15
7 3:09
8 2:58
9 2:57
10 2:46
11 3:08
12 2:40
13 2:34
14 3:04
15
3:01
16 2:55
17 3:07
18 3:16
19 3:26
20 2:35
21 2:58
22 3:05
blue highlight denotes track pick