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The War Years (1941-1947)

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Album Review

Covering an important six-year period in Ella Fitzgerald's career, this two-CD set contains some of the highlights of the period as she develops from a top big-band singer into a masterful jazz improviser. Although one wishes that this survey were "complete," the 43 selections do feature Fitzgerald in a wide variety of settings, including with small groups, collaborating with The Ink Spots, the Delta Rhythm Boys Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong and fronting various studio groups. Most of her hits from the period are here along with previously unissued alternate takes of "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Flying Home" and two of "How High the Moon," making this a strong introduction to her early years.


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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