Ella Fitzgerald

The Legendary, Vol. 2

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The second in a five-volume series from the obscure British label Acrobat, The Legendary, Vol. 2 concentrates on the series of mid-'30s sides recorded by Ella Fitzgerald at the dawn of her career, usually fronting the Chick Webb Orchestra for an occasional vocal feature or appearing with a smaller studio band. While early on, Ella's superior talent at reading a song was evident only occasionally, the swing powerhouse that was the Webb band became the perfect vehicle for her extroverted talents. Highlights include the Chick Webb features "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (one of the biggest hits of her career) and "I Want to Be Happy," plus a few sides recorded with Fitzgerald heading a small group (Ella Fitzgerald & Her Savoy Eight) of Webb sidemen. For the collectors who want all of her material, there's the excellent chronological series on Classics, while listeners new to Ella will far prefer a less exhausting collection.

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