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Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

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iTunes Review

The first lady of jazz can make anything swing, and Christmas tunes are no exception. On this 1960 album, Ella's endlessly agile voice wraps itself around a batch of holiday standards, with a Frank De Vol-led big band providing brassy punctuation. When tackling chestnuts like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," she doesn't try to reinvent the melody, as some less-experienced jazz singer might; instead, she stamps her personality on every tune with subtle turns of phrasing and a masterful knack for toying with the time.

Customer Reviews

Perfect Christmas Album

This is such a great christmas album, a classic. Ella sings and swings her way through 18 holiday classics and she proves over and over why she is the best. I bought this in iTunes last holiday season.....looking forward to playing it again this year

A True "Swinging Christmas" Classic

The premise seems almost too good to be true...the undeniably winsome First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, recording best-loved holiday chestnuts. Ella lives up to high expectations with this timeless recording that is arguably the best Christmas recording of all time (at least it tops the holiday jazz field). From the energetic opening strains of "Jingle Bells," Ella has us hooked, with her variating rhythms and crystal-clear vocals. Even with an unnecessary (but appealing) backing group and the absence of her trademark scatting, Fitzgerald turns each and every one of these tracks into instant classics with her warm and cozy delivery, infused with an equal dose of likeability, personality, and soul. It doesn't hurt that top-notch arranger Frank DeVol was on board, and this 2002 reissue features 5 bonus tracks--the beautiful ballad "The Secret of Christmas," a very welcome sacred medley of Christmas hymns, and three alternate takes, ranging from a version of "The Christmas Song" that could have easily replaced the actually released one to a take on "Frosty the Snowman" in which Ella seamlessly plays the part of a excited little girl. If you don't have this astoundingly amazing holiday treasure in your collection, then your collection is not complete. This is truly a Christmas album for the ages.

Simply Timeless

What better way to get in the holiday spirit. Ella, with her flawless vocals, phrasing & and sheer heart brings a fresh and beautiful spin on these classic tunes. This album makes you want to dance and shed a sentimental tear all at the same time. Pefection. Happy Holidays!


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...
Full Bio

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