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Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new release)

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:51 pm

This one has been kept really quiet. While PD issues of radio broadcasts of jazz concerts are quite common here in Europe, this escape is neither PD or taken from a radio broadcast. Instead, it finds Ella Fitzgerald in 1979 in The Hague giving an energetic set with a trio led by Paul Smith. Also, it not only features a fine sounding CD but comes with a DVD of the same show - something not mentioned in the Amazon listing. We already have Ella on DVD from 1979 with the Count Basie Orchestra, but this concert is much more intimate with just the trio setting. As always, her repertoire is varied, and we get the first official live airings on CD of There Will Never Be Another You, Dindi, Almost Like Being in Love - and a brand new Ella song in the theme from "Love Boat!". This was quite commonly performed by Ella at the time, but this is the first official release (she would perform the theme from "Neighbours" in concert a decade later!). Dindi is a lovely version - much better than from her Jobim songbook from a year later. Not only is Ella in good voice and spirits, she's also quite feisty, getting more annoyed with the press photographers as the performance progresses.

The liner noes by Jeroen de Valk are quite harsh. I much prefer Ella's voice during these "Pablo" years than during the Verve years. Sure, it's not as silky smooth, but the performances are alot jazzier in nature, even on the studio albums. And, like Sinatra, she used great imagination in overcoming any vocal shortcomings, making the performances more interesting. De Valk clearly doesn't agree, and I think is quite off the mark in his assessment of performances such as Satin Doll, which he says are more shouted than sung - which is simply not true. He seems more interested in what Ella can no longer do rather than what she can. This is a shame, as it takes the sheen off a lovely and most unexpected new Ella product - her 1984 performance at this festival is quite well known and done the rounds among collectors for years, but this one from 1979 is pretty much unknown.

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:01 pm

Sounds like a potentially excellent release. I hadn't heard of this coming out, either. But will certainly be picking it up.

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:10 am

Let me know what you think!

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:28 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Let me know what you think!


Will do. I was in HMV today and meant to take a look for it, but was really just passing ten minutes or so.

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:43 pm

greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Let me know what you think!


Will do. I was in HMV today and meant to take a look for it, but was really just passing ten minutes or so.


I confess that my HMV has quite a hefty jazz section since the takeover earlier this year - and one in which the selling of a title is seemingly replaced by a different title rather than the same one. They seem to have learned their lessons a little bit. Even so, the new Ella wasn't available there - I came across it purely by accident on Amazon.

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:55 pm

The big HMV in Glasgow has a good jazz section also -- they're pretty well stocked on the whole, in fact. Their soundtracks section is also excellent. They could do with a bit more country CDs, but I usually buy from Amazon anyway. But HMV have improved their pricing of late -- especially their five for £30 deals.

Re: Ella Fitzgerald at the North Sea Jazz Festival (new rele

Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:55 am

greystoke wrote:The big HMV in Glasgow has a good jazz section also -- they're pretty well stocked on the whole, in fact. Their soundtracks section is also excellent. They could do with a bit more country CDs, but I usually buy from Amazon anyway. But HMV have improved their pricing of late -- especially their five for £30 deals.


Oddly, we haven't got that deal! And we have country, but relatively few classical!

But I agree pricing has changed a great deal, not just since the takeover, but before that too. But that seemed to be a regional thing too - when I was in Sheffield in May, prices were significantly higher than in the two Norwich stores.