From the Vault...


Ella Fitzgerald
"Ella In Rome: The Birthday Concert"

© EMI Verve Records

Year of Release: 1988

track listing
  • Introduction (In Italian)
  • St. Louis Blues
  • These Foolish Things
    (Remind Me Of You)
  • Just Squeeze Me
  • Angel Eyes
  • That Old Black Magic
  • Just One Of Those Things
  • I Loves You Porgy
  • It's All Right With Me
  • I Can't Give You Anything
    But Love
  • Introduction (In Italian)
  • When You're Smiling
    (The Whole World
    Smiles With You)
  • A Foggy Day
  • Midnight Sun
  • The Lady Is A Tramp
  • Sophisticated Lady
  • Caravan
  • Stompin' At The Savoy

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    Ella Fitzgerald
    "Ella In Rome: The Birthday Concert"

    Ella Fitzgerald returns this week with a birthday concert she performed in Rome. The date was April 25, 1958, (her 40th birthday) at the Teatro Sistina. According to researchers, she was actually celebrating her 41st birthday, as her official birthday date was April 25, 1917, not 1918 as some thought. Ella In Rome: The Birthday Concert spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart, in July of 1988.

    Ella Fitzgerald was truly one of the greatest Jazz artists ever. This concert easily proves it, with her upbeat, jazzy classics, as her ballads are just as superior. I am not a big fan on concert albums, but after listening to this one, not only hearing it was fantastic, I am sure everyone who witnessed this concert would also agree it was just as outstanding.

    There is all sorts of jazz classifications during the concert: upbeat, jazzy, classic, cool jazz, and just plain beautiful. "St. Louis Blues" starts out as upbeat, scat, jazzy, and just classy. "These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)" is just beautiful. "Just Squeeze Me" should get numerous repeated listens, as it defines "cool jazz." Beautiful again defines "Angel Eyes." The classic "That Old Black Magic" is just what it is -- Classic Ella. Cool Jazz -- "Just One Of Those Things." Beautiful -- "I Loves You Porgy." Cool Jazz -- "It's All Right With Me." Ella impersonates the great Louis Armstrong, likewise Rae Murphy, and acknowledges Elvis Presley to the tune of "Davy Crockett" on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love."

    is one of my favorite Jazz tracks, as I try to remember whose version I remember hearing it by when I was a kid. I think it was Ella, but not really sure. of those songs that many other Jazz artists recorded. Again, off the top of my head -- Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett. Beautiful once again describes Ella's version here is the only "least favorite" track from this album. Oscar Peterson's band joins in with Ella on the last track, "Stompin' At The Savoy," a great version here, with it's cool jazz, and scat towards the end of the song. Classic.

    It's easy to hear how this album was great. It is a great concert, and in my research, it would be her only #1 Jazz album. She has made a huge impact in popular music. Although she is gone (she passed away in 1996 at the age of 79 from complications from diabetes), she will always be an influence to those when she was alive, and to the future singers who will become an influence. Ella Fitzgerald was a Legend, and will continue on to do so in may generations to come.

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