Published Dec 10, 2013As this is the first-ever box set to attempt to curate the First Lady of Song's vast and multi-decade career, kudos to the folks behind this sprawling ten-disc effort. Covering her early years as a swing singer, her daring shifts toward bebop, show tunes and calypso, her landmark approach to the "great American songbook" in the 1950s, her improvisational approach to the live show and her twilight years as a grand dame of jazz, this elegant and expansive set is really all you'll ever need.
Featuring a terrific hardback book replete with detailed notes, photos, essays and song-by-song track descriptions, this is also a trove of information, a place for fans and newcomers alike to revel in Fitzgerald's otherworldly command of her instrument.
Is Ella Fitzgerald really the greatest jazz vocalist of all time (as these liner notes suggest, over and again)? Who cares? Just enjoy. Every disc here, every song, is magic. (Verve/Universal)