Nelson Riddle, whose arrangements were an asset on some of Ella Fitzgerald's Song Book projects, also made two albums with her during 1961: this one plus Ella Swings Gently with Nelson. The singer has rarely sounded better than during this period. For the Swings Brightly set (which gets a slight edge over the other one), Fitzgerald sticks mostly to familiar standards and is particularly memorable on "Don't Be That Way," "What Am I Here For," "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'," and "I Won't Dance." Three slightly earlier bonus tracks round out this enjoyable big-band effort.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow