Ella Fitzgerald

Get Happy!

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Recorded during the period of time when Ella Fitzgerald cut her famous series of "songbooks," this set (which in 1999 was reissued on CD) is a bit of a hodge-podge, drawing its 14 selections from six different dates which find Ella backed by orchestras led by either Nelson Riddle, Frank DeVol, Russ Garcia or Paul Weston. "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" was previously available as just a single while "Swingin' Shepherd Blues" (an alternate take) was previously unreleased. As usual, Ella uplifts all of the material and her best moments come on "Somebody Loves Me," a heartfelt "Moonlight Becomes You," a scat-filled "Blue Skies" and (somewhat surprisingly) "St. Louis Blues." Although this was not her most essential release, the formerly obscure Get Happy finds Ella Fitzgerald at the peak of her powers.

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