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Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

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Album Review

This is a delightful Christmas jazz reissue featuring Ella Fitzgerald in prime form. On most selections she is backed by Frank DeVol's orchestra. The original dozen selections have been expanded with the addition of three alternate takes plus three selections only out previously on samplers, including "Christmas Island." Fitzgerald clearly had a fun time recording such songs as "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," and "Frosty the Snowman," along with a few more serious pieces. These concise performances (all under four minutes) are charming, making this one of the better Christmas jazz sets.


Born: 25 April 1917 in Newport News, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

"The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was arguably the finest female jazz singer of all time (although some may vote for Sarah Vaughan or Billie Holiday). Blessed with a beautiful voice and a wide range, Fitzgerald could outswing anyone, was a brilliant scat singer, and had near-perfect elocution; one could always understand the words she sang. The one fault was that, since she always sounded so happy to be singing, Fitzgerald did not always dig below the surface of the lyrics she interpreted...
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