Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald and Her Orchestra

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This LP looks stronger than it actually is. Ella Fitzgerald was put at the head of the former Chick Webb Orchestra after the drummer's premature death and her studio recordings rarely gave the big band a chance to stretch out instrumentally. This album contains two broadcasts (which are mixed together) and eight of the 14 numbers are instrumentals. During the band features, Fitzgerald often mutters the first name of the soloist but the personnel and exact dates are inexcusably missing. However the real disappointment is the erratic sound quality which occasionally makes the musicians sound distorted. Trumpeter Taft Jordan, trombonist Sandy Williams and tenorman Teddy McRae are the main soloists and Fitzgerald sounds at her best for the period on "Sugar Blues" and her worst on the dumb novelty "Chewin' Gum." But the technical deficiencies make this set of interest only to completists.