Los Angeles - May 13, 2022 - On August 16, 1958, just a few months after Ella Fitzgerald recorded her now-classic album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook
, The First Lady Of Song performed selections from that album live at the Hollywood Bowl to an adoring, sold-out crowd. Conducted and arranged by Paul Weston, who also arranged and conducted the studio sessions, this concert marked the only time that Ella performed these iconic arrangements live with a full orchestra.
Widely considered her greatest achievement, Ella’s Songbook records, with peerless renditions of the best songs by America’s greatest composers, are the cornerstone of the Verve catalog and the undisputed standard for jazz vocal recordings. At the inaugural Grammy Awards, her Irving Berlin album won Ella her first Grammy for “Best Vocal Performance, Female,” and was also nominated for “Album Of The Year.” Aside from the lucky audience at the Hollywood Bowl that night, it wasn’t generally known, until the discovery of these tapes, that Ella had ever performed any of the Songbook arrangements in concert, let alone that such a pristine and sonically sumptuous recording existed.
On June 24, Verve/UMe will proudly release the full, never-before-released 15-song performance, aptly titled, Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook, on CD and vinyl, and digitally. This landmark record, discovered in the private collection of producer and Verve Records founder Norman Granz, marks the first time a live Songbook has been released from Ella. It is also significant in that it captures the only time Ella worked in concert with arranger-conductor Paul Weston. And, although she performed regularly at the Hollywood Bowl, this is the first full-length concert by Ella from this iconic venue to be released (notably, Ella was featured prominently on Verve’s Jazz At The Hollywood Bowl album, recorded and released in 1956, the year Granz formed the label). The live tracks were mixed from the original ¼“ tapes by Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Gregg Field who played drums for Ella in her later years. The album is rounded out with insightful liner notes about the concert and Ella’s Songbook series by noted author and music critic, Will Friedwald.
Ella at the Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook
is available to pre-order now and is being previewed with a lively rendition of "Puttin' On The Ritz”. The song is accompanied by an animated video, directed by Alberto Baroni, that cleverly brings the song and Giulia Pelizzaro’s dynamic album art to life.