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Miss Ella's Playhouse

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Album Review

Jazz and even vocal music can be a tough nut to crack for younger listeners, but Ella Fitzgerald's irrepressible enthusiasm and constant musicality make her a natural for children's listening. Accordingly, Universal packaged 11 of her lightest novelties into the brief Miss Ella's Playhouse, pitched to ages one to four and billed as "Kid, Parent & Earth Friendly." Leading off with the 1938 nursery rhyme hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," the disc makes a fair introduction for children to Ella specifically and great vocal jazz in general (regardless of the argument that children could appreciate her "serious" music without this set of dumbed-down material). The disc is divided between early Decca material of the nursery rhyme variety ("The Muffin Man," "Old Mother Hubbard") and peak-era Verve novelties like "Bean Bag Song," "Two Little Men and a Flying Saucer," and "The Hot Canary." Fans of the Great American Songbook may not be able to handle this type of material, but Ella Fitzgerald makes it all shine with a twinkle in her eyes, even when she's recording "Old McDonald" in 1966, nearing her half-century mark.

Customer Reviews

Interesting. (First to review!)

Four things. 1. Not good. 2. Not bad. 3. You could probably find better. 4. If you like Ella you'll like this...Maybe.

Sweet and Unique

I disagree. Although I don't own the album, from what I've heard it sounds like a very smooth, playful, classic easy listening for anyone. It's pretty! :-)

A bit of Culture for your tots!

I love Ella! Obviously some people aren't use to music that came from an era w/ melodies, swing, charm, and grace. I'm 29 and grew up on this kind of classy music. I'm thankful my mother raised me to be well-rounded w/ a variety of musical interests. This album is fabulous! Please give your children something more than the bubble gum pop that's out there! :)


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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