Ella Fitzgerald sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book Vol. 3 (LP – 1959)


This Song Book was released in 1959 in the form of three LPs, which are quite hard to find. There has been no reissue up to this day. However, the complete set of these LPs is available here in limited quantity.
The arrangements are by Nelson Riddle, and the production is, of course, credited to Norman Granz, who was Ella Fitzgerald’s producer and the founder of Verve Records. This production is a true technical feat for its time. Imagine recording and mixing 59 tracks within eight months using the technological means of 1959. Despite being marked by the technical limitations of that era, the result is remarkable. Moreover, considering that LPs of that time were quite fragile, they have managed to withstand the test of time without suffering much.
I remember that time in France when I was very young, watching on black and white television during Christmas, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. My eyes were filled with wonder, enchanted by their voices, which were so different from what we usually heard—rather melancholic. These two artists brought joy and kindness, and when it wasn’t them, it was Ray Charles. Since then, I have held an unlimited admiration for African American culture because it was through these artists that I became interested in jazz, then R&B, soul music, and funk.
So, it’s a great pleasure to rediscover Ella through this album, with that distinct sound of the 1950s. This series of albums, from which this one is extracted, also includes works by Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and Johnny Mercer. Each album is dedicated to one of these composers. To push cultural creativity to its limits, artists were commissioned to illustrate each album cover. For “The And Sings Ira George Gershwin Song Book Vol. 3,” the painter Bernard Buffet created a special artwork for the occasion, just like for the other albums in this box set.
The orchestration arrangements are truly beautiful. The box set from which this LP originates was one of the most significant sales of that era, attributed not only to Ella Fitzgerald’s fame but also to the renown of the Gershwins and, of course, the internationally acclaimed painter Bernard Buffet, whose reputation speaks for itself.
A1 A Foggy Day
A2 Clap Yo’ Hands
A3 For You, For Me, For Evermore
A4 Stiff Upper Lip
A5 Boy Wanted
A6 Strike Up The Band
B1 Soon
B2 I’ve Got A Crush On You
B3 Bidin’ My Time
B4 Aren’t You Kind Of Glad We Did?
B5 Of Thee I Sing (Baby)
If you want to immerse yourself in the history of jazz with the extraordinary artist that was Ella Fitzgerald, then I recommend this album or box set, depending on what you come across.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, August 10th 2023


To buy this LP

VERVE Records Website

Ella Fitzgerald’s website