The Best of the Songbooks: Ballads/Ella Fitzgerald

September 6, 2012

Growing up two of the people I looked up to were Nelson Riddle and Ted Nash. Nash had a sound I could never duplicate on my trombone. I studied every note of Riddle arrangements instead of reading comic books to the point I knew the orchestrations as well as Riddle. It was his arrangements that made his sound. It didn’t matter whether it was a vocal from Sinatra or Fitzgerald or an instrumental his sound was always there. This Ella Fitzgerald album not only features Riddle but Billy May, Barney Kessel, and Russell Garcia. In keeping with the format of these cassette transfer reviews I’ve chosen the track “Laura,” a fine representation of the sound of Riddle, the voice of Fitzgerald, and an all star band offering a superb arrangement of the Raksin composition. 

I’ve managed to collect well over 4000 cassettes. I’m glad I ignored the advice to throw them away. I’m sure I’ll find many more gems that I’ll be able to enjoy on the Encore transfer unit. Laura Ella Fitzgerald Nelson Riddle

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