Ella Fitzgerald

The Legendary, Vol. 3

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The third in a five-volume series from the obscure British label Acrobat, The Legendary, Vol. 3 concentrates on the series of late-'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 last of her Webb hits ("Undecided," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy") and the best of her early featured material like "Little White Lies." Unfortunately, this volume has many novelties as well, including "Chew, Chew, Chew (Your Bubble Gum)," "It's Slumbertime Along the Swanee," and "I Found My Yellow Basket" (the latter a rewrite of the hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket"). 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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