Ella Fitzgerald: But Not For Me


But Not For Me


Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)


Pure Ella (Decca GRD-636)

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Ella Fitzgerald (vocals), Ellis Larkins (piano).

Composed by George & Ira Gershwin


Recorded: New York, September 12, 1950


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

     Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Brown at Birdland, photo by Marcel Fleiss

"I never knew how good our songs were," Ira Gershwin allowed, "until I heard Ella sing them." As the 1950s dawned, America's First Lady of Song wasn't yet lugging around the excess baggage of superstardom that would weigh heavily on her voluminous Song Book series later in the decade with their kitschy Las Vegas- type arrangements. In 1950, traveling light, Ella could arrive at the studio with a solitary accompanist—the impeccably sensitive Ellis Larkins—and reduce a song to its sparkling essence with the graceful simplicity of a world-class diamond cutter. We never knew how good Ella was until we heard this track. Ella-gant.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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Related Links

The Legacy of Ella Fitzgerald by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Ella Fitzgerald Performances by Stuart Nicholson
”Ella Fitzgerald” by Stuart Nicholson (from The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians)

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