Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960/2014)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:42:37 minutes | 1,69 GB | Genre: Jazz
Source: ISO SACD | © Verve Records
Recorded: April 14–19, 1960 at United Western Recorders, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound from the original master tapes to vinyl and PCM. The DSD was sourced from the PCM. George listened to all of the different A/D converters he had before he chose which to use, and he felt the George Massenburg GML 20 bit A/D produced the best and most synergistic sound for the project.
“Since 1977, I’ve treasured Bernie Grundman’s Classic Compact Disc remastering (out of print) of this great collection, initially recorded for the soundtrack of the film “Let No Man Write My Epitaph” (1960). Now that Chad Kassem’s Analogue Productions has augmented the late George Marino’s 45 RPM remastering, made with the George Massenburg GML 20-bit A/D, with a stereo SACD/CD edition, silver-disc lovers can again enjoy the brilliance of Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, singing 13 great classics. Suprisingly, for a collection that includes Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh’s “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Baby),” and Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Well’s “September Song,” every close-miked, impeccably voiced performance catches Fitzgerald in a mellow mood. In the face of such great singing, arguments about the depth of her interpretations seem tantamount to Grinches bickering about how best to steal Christmas.” — Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile, February 2014.
Considered one of Ella’s greatest recordings, she’s backed on this 1960 release by pianist Paul Smith. “Let No Man Write My Epitaph” was a 1960 Hollywood movie featuring Fitzgerald. The album hits at a depth of emotional understanding that critics often complained was missing in Ella’s reading of jazz lyrics, and once again establishes her as one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook.
Analogue Productions has released a great collection of classics interpreted by one of the finest singers of all time. Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) features thirteen songs ostensibly (not all of these were included originally) from the film of the same name. This forgettable movie was a sequel to the crime drama Knock On Any Door (whose legacy includes the memorable line, “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse”).
Accompanied by a sole pianist (Paul Smith), familiar standards are reinvented to reflect the melancholy nuances of Ella. And like her previous outing, Ella Sings Gershwin (1950), Fitzgerald is in peak form. The album opens with a bluesy piano intro to “Black Coffee”. Many people associate this composition with Sarah Vaughan or Peggy Lee, and now it is an Ella classic. Her melancholic, subtle delivery is matched by impeccable jazz phrasing. One of the most frequently recorded jazz/vocal numbers, “Angel Eyes”, has a near-mournful ambiance. Fitzgerald’s legendary vocal skills are enhanced by a meditative, winsome essence. Of course there are voice trills and modulations that remain timeless. Regardless of the familiarity in tunes like “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”, “My Melancholy Baby” and “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”, new life and a graceful sophistication transforms them into meditations.
For anyone uncertain about the Ella Fitzgerald mystique, all that is required is one listen to “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)”. Smith’s atmospheric chords mesh perfectly with Ella’s compelling take on the ultimate “Three A.M.” tune. Her emotive tonality and wistful narrative elegance are nothing short of brilliant. The same languid fluency envelops “Then You’ve Never Been Blue”. Her voice and interpretive acumen are extraordinary. Each song is a distinctive rumination on love (“I Hadn’t Anyone Till You”, “Misty”), the passage of time (“September Song”) of heartbreak (“Who’s Sorry Now”). There is an aged mellowness, but the pitch, breath control and artistic flourishes are first-rate.
Analogue Productions has done a masterful job in re-mastering Let No Man Write My Epitaph to SACD format. The stereo balance is outstanding. Paul Smith’s piano is crisp and full of texture. More importantly, the lead instrument (Fitzgerald’s voice) is captured with warmth and pristine detail (especially on the lower register vibrato). This is another landmark recording of an American institution. –Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition
1. Black Coffee 03:31
2. Angel Eyes 03:30
3. I Cried For You 03:30
4. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love 03:31
5. Then You’ve Never Been Blue 03:13
6. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You 02:52
7. My Melancholy Baby 03:00
8. Misty 02:55
9. September Song 03:43
10. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) 04:21
11. Who’s Sorry Now 03:29
12. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You 02:39
13. Reach For Tomorrow 02:28
Ella Fitzgerald – vocals
Paul Smith – piano