Ella Fitzgerald

Les Incontournables

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This album is part of a series of budget imports from Warner that pulls from their huge archives to highlight some of jazz's most classic musicians. Compilations, especially budget-line collections, tend to be either boring greatest-hits lists that any fan would already own or poorly recorded live tracks that sound like they were issued from the inside of somebody's bathtub. This series is neither, combining quality live tracks with the truly classic studio recordings from each artist. A funky organ-backed version of "Mack the Knife" gets things started on this album, followed by great versions of "The Best Is Yet to Come" and "You Go to My Head," among others. Ella Fitzgerald has had very few clunkers over the course of her half-century career, but this album really does collect some fine work.

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