Ella - The Lost Berlin Tapes
Recorded in 1962 but NEVER released, hear the most popular jazz singer of all time deliver an iconic performance at Sportpalast Berlin for the first time.
Ella and her band at the top of their game recorded in HIGH FIDELITY STEREO.
Oct. 1, 2020 By Giovanni Russonello The New York Times
Ella Fitzgerald hardly ever crooned the blues, and her vocals rarely overflowed with pathos or fury. Listening to her nail a ballad, you may not feel invited to leap into her own world and feel her pain, like you would with Billie Holiday or Little Jimmy Scott. You could say that Fitzgerald was to singing what Yo-Yo Ma is to the cello: utter perfection, personified. Fitzgerald thinks of the note, she hits the note. She learns the song, she becomes the song. Still, there’s a sacred exchange going on. Rather than beckoning you in, Fitzgerald is bringing the music to you. And the effect is undeniable — you’re disarmed.
It makes sense, then, that Fitzgerald’s live recordings have always had a special power that her studio outings could only imply. As her biographer Stuart Nicholson put it, the best ones “reveal the real Ella, bringing pleasure to others by bringing pleasure to herself.” Of those live albums, few made a longer-lasting impression than “Mack the Knife: Ella in Berlin,” from 1960, widely considered one of her greatest captures.
And this week, the pleasure grows: On Friday the Verve Label Group will release “Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes,” documenting a concert that she gave there two years after her famed first appearance. Taken together with “Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things,” an informative documentary released on digital platforms earlier this month, it’s a worthy invitation to engage anew with a singer whose constant improvisations — equal parts precision and profusion — are all too easy to take for granted.
Cheek To Cheek
He’s My Kind Of Boy
Cry Me A River
I Won’t Dance
Someone To Watch Over Me
Clap Hands, Here Come Charlie
Taking A Chance On Love
Good Morning Heartache
Hallelujah, I Love Him So
Hallelujah, I Love Him So (Reprise)
Mack The Knife
Wee Baby Blues