Ella Fitzgerald

Ella in Hamburg

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Ella Fitzgerald and the Tommy Flanagan Trio (the pianist is joined by bassist Keter Betts and drummer Gus Johnson) are in top form during this engaging 1965 concert in Hamburg, Germany. She's at her best singing classic material such as the uptempo "That Old Black Magic" and a strutting take of "And the Angels Sing" (not a song typically associated with Fitzgerald). She is also very effective on ballads such as "Body and Soul," "Here's That Rainy Day," and "Angel Eyes." Even though liner note writer implies that the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" is a great jazz vehicle, it is actually a resounding dud here, as was often the case when the singer ventured into covering rock hits of the '60s and '70s. But an occasional misfire should not dissuade anyone from acquiring this LP, as Ella Fitzgerald is in great voice throughout the performance, and Tommy Flanagan's accompaniment is peerless.

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