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The Best of Twelve Nights In Hollywood (Live At the Crescendo)

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Editors’ Notes

These recordings capture Fitzgerald at what many of her fans consider the apex of her vocal prowess. The songs were culled from ten nights of performances at the Crescendo Club in Hollywood in 1961 (as well as a couple of shows in 1962). A month following these recordings she would record her most critically celebrated album on Verve Records, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! with a jazz quartet led by Bud Powell disciple Lou Levy (who plays piano here). Other recordings from Fitzgerald’s same residency at the Crescendo were immediately released in 1961 under the title Ella In Hollywood, but to the benefit of stalwart jazz music completionists, this collection does not repeat any of those tracks, nor "Ol' Man Mose" and "Bill Bailey," the ensuing singles birthed from her 1962 stay. Her bouncy take on “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” serves as a starting point for her outstanding scat-singing talent which can be better exemplified in Frank Loesser’s “On a Slow Boat to China,” where she scats a call-and-response with the guitar. But her cute Louis Armstrong impression on “Mack the Knife” takes the cake.

Customer Reviews

The real thing

There is truly no one like Ella! Her voice has such joy, who wouldn't love it? ;)


Greatest jazz singer I ever heard :-)

The Best Of 12 Nights In Ho0llywood

I sound like the old fart I used to shake my head at, but NOBODY in the last 100 years can carry Ella's torch and I'm damn lucky I grew up listening to Ella, Sarah and Mel Torme. Those 3 will NEVER be matched and as a kid my father played 1st Tenor Sax in most of the bands at The Circle Star, Venetian Room, etc. where they performed in the SF Bay Area.. Stayed awake till he got home as a little kid in the 60's waiting for him to say how much fun it was to play for such great and NICE people!


Born: April 25, 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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