Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Song Book (1964)

Ella only made one record in tribute to a single lyricist, and what an honor she does to Johnny Mercer. Mercer, an extraordinarily prolific songwriter and co-founder of Capitol Records, was the writer behind popular classics like "Moon River" and "Hooray for Hollywood", but also has a profound sense for light verse and cultural vernacular. The casual wordplay and familiarity of of lines like "Yes you're much too much, and just too very very/ To ever be in Webster's Dictionary" mark Mercer as one of the keenest pop geniuses of our time. Ella and the Nelson Riddle big band bring fast-paced tunes like "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Something's Gotta Give" to life with musical acrobatics and impressive diction, but the First Lady of Song gives me the shivers the most on her ballads, especially the classic "Skylark" and one of my very favorite songs ever, "Early Autumn".



1. Too Marvelous For Words
2. Early Autumn
3. Day In, Day Out
4. Luara
5. This Time, The Dream's On Me
6. Skylark
7. Single-O
8. Something's Gotta Give
9. Trav'lin' Light
10. Midnight Sun
11. Dream (When You're Feeling Blue"
12. I Remember You
13. When a Woman Loves a Man


1 comment:

  1. Not the only Verve album she did in tribute to a single lyricist. She also did the Gershwin songbook, the Cole Porter songbook, & 5 other composers (according to Wikipedia). Prolific, yes, but almost anything recorded by Ella is first class.