Ella Fitzgerald


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Welcome to a richly rewarding segment of the all too often overlooked plateau that lies between Ella Fitzgerald's recordings with Chick Webb's orchestra during the second half of the 1930s and her triumphant reign as one of the world's most popular jazz singers during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. The recordings she made between February 26, 1945, and March 1, 1947, illustrate this woman's amazing versatility as she teamed up with an extraordinarily variegated range of vocalists and instrumentalists. Her pleasant collaborations with the Ink Spots and the Delta Rhythm Boys and a few titles with big-band accompaniment serve as appetizers for "Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had It Coming)," a disturbingly funny calypso number featuring Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5. Here Ella and Louis put across a performance even more outrageous than Sarah Vaughan's eccentric West Indian suicide song "De Gas Pipe She's Leaking, Joe." While Jordan's band grinds out spicy Caribbean dance music, Ella proudly explains how, fed up with being physically abused, she beat her husband to death with various kitchen utensils. Jordan, who calmly states that he's singing his portion of the duet while stretched out inanimate in the shopping district, admits that he was an abusive drunkard who often beat his wife. This incredibly humorous sendup of the horribly tragic and all too common specter of domestic violence leading to homicide is sustained largely by the female vocalist, who repeatedly describes her husband-killing technique, defiantly exclaims "he had it coming," and even communes with the spirit of Bessie Smith by insisting that she'd do it again even "if I was to die in the electric chair." This interesting compilation also contains a pair of duets with Louis Armstrong, some pleasant performances backed by bands led by pianists Billy Kyle and Eddie Heywood, and some really wild V-Disc collaborations with drummer and scat singer Buddy Rich. Never a dull moment!

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:44 SpotifyAmazon
2 3:18 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:36 SpotifyAmazon
4 2:46 SpotifyAmazon
5 3:07 SpotifyAmazon
feat: Randy Brooks
3:25 SpotifyAmazon
feat: Vic Schoen
2:29 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:41
9 2:35 SpotifyAmazon
feat: Buddy Rich
3:19 SpotifyAmazon
11 4:27 SpotifyAmazon
12 4:07 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:31 SpotifyAmazon
14 2:54
15 3:13 SpotifyAmazon
16 2:55 SpotifyAmazon
17 3:19 SpotifyAmazon
18 3:10 SpotifyAmazon
19 2:40 SpotifyAmazon
20 3:13 SpotifyAmazon
21 3:18 SpotifyAmazon
feat: Buddy Rich
blue highlight denotes track pick