Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald
"Sings the Rogers & Hart Songbook" (Vinyl)

Released in 1956, this album features the one-and-only Ella Fitzgerald singing songs from the songwriting duo Richard Rogers and Larry Hart.  Some of these songs are still known today ("Bewitched," "My Funny Valentine," "The Lady is a Tramp") but many of them have passed into obscurity.  What's equally interesting is how there were so many musicals that have passed out of common knowledge. 

I am coming to regard Ella Fitzgerald as one of the two most important figures in American songbook performance.  The music penned by Rogers and Hart, the Gershwin brothers and Rogers and Hammerstein are quickly becoming canonized American art song tradition.  The performances by Ms. Fitzgerald (and another fellow called Frank Sinatra) are the benchmark for jazz and contemporary vocal standards that everyone should learn from.

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