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Ella Fitzgerald ‎The Lost Berlin Tapes 2LP Vinyl Sterling Sound Verve Records 2020 USA

Ella Fitzgerald ‎The Lost Berlin Tapes 2LP Vinyl Sterling Sound Verve Records 2020 USA Maximize
Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Title: The Lost Berlin Tapes
Catalog Number: B0032589-01
Label: Verve
Reissued by: Verve Records
Barcode: 602507450090
Original release year: 1962
Reissue year: 2020
Number of discs: 2
Revolutions per minute: 33⅓ rpm
Disc size: 12"
Total Item Weight: 482gr
Pressing country: EU
For Market Release in: USA
Added to catalog on: December 24, 2020
Note: Never eligible for any further discounts
Vinyl Gourmet Club: No


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Unit Price: 28,53 €

Reference: VV338901GF

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The First Lady of Song returns to Berlin, home of her legendary concerts. Recorded in 1962 but never released, hear the most popular jazz singer of all time deliver an iconic performance at Sportpalast Berlin for the first time! This recording finds Ella and her band at the top of their game recorded in high fidelity stereo.



Rated 10/11 Music and 10/11 Sound by Michael Fremer (Analog Planet)

  • 2LP Vinyl
  • Cut by Ryan K. Smith
  • Mastered at Sterling Sound
  • First ever release!
  • Gatefold Cover
  • USA Version



Undiscovered 1962 Recording Captures the First Lady of Song Back in Berlin, Home of Her Most Legendary Concerts!

A newly-discovered recording from 1962 captures Ella Fitzgerald at the height of her career, performing for a spellbound audience at Berlin's Sportpalast. The complete concert, dubbed The Lost Berlin Tapes, takes place on the evening of March 25, 1962. Accompanied by pianist Paul Smith, bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks, and drummer Stan Levey, Fitzgerald is at the top of her game – singing a variety of hits, in addition to lesser-known gems. Her longtime manager, Verve founder Norman Granz, regularly recorded her concerts for later release, radio broadcast, or, in the case of this performance, just to keep on hand.

Just two years prior, the First Lady of Song had performed an iconic set at the city's Deutschlandhalle – the recording of which would become one of her best-selling records, Mack The Knife: Ella in Berlin. The album not only garnered Fitzgerald two Grammy Awards but it would later be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In that 1960 set, Fitzgerald famously flubbed the lyrics to "Mack The Knife." In this performance – captured during the most extensive European tour of her career at the time – she nails them. But she forgets the name of the city she's in. On the recording, she charmingly says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so embarrassed. This is where the first time I sang ‘Mack the Knife' and when I got to the part of the town, I couldn't think of it!" The audience is enthralled, nonetheless.

The singer's unique charm and energy are palpable throughout The Lost Berlin Tapes. She opens with "Cheek To Cheek," followed by the rare "He's My Kind of Boy." After her behind-the-shoulder scat-heavy salute with "Jersey Bounce," Fitzgerald shifts to a heart-wrenching ballad from the Great American Songbook, "Angel Eyes." She also sings the Ray Charles hit "Hallelujah, I Love Him So," singing a reprise that shows her sharp improvisational skills.

"Norman [Granz] had left Verve by the time this was recorded," explains Ken Druker, who produced The Lost Berlin Tapes for release. "But Ella was still under contract to Verve. So he couldn't have released it himself. It was something he knew he couldn't do anything with, contractually...We've all heard a lot of live Ella from this period. We have 1960 from Berlin, and we've also released Ella Returns to Berlin from ‘61. I don't know what it is about Berlin in particular, but she's in great voice, and the band sounds amazing. It's an incredibly strong performance."



The First Lady of Song Returns to Berlin, Home of Her Legendary Concerts. Recorded in 1962 but NEVER released, hear the most popular jazz singer of all time deliver an iconic performance at Sportpalast Berlin for the first time.

This recording finds Ella and her band at the top of their game recorded in HIGH FIDELITY STEREO. With only two songs repeated from her hit record Mack The Knife two years earlier, this undiscovered recording stands on its own.

"This March 25, 1962 recording of Ella Fitzgerald performing live at Berlin's Sportpalast is remarkable for several reasons, starting with the then 44 year old's exuberant, high energy performance backed by the trio of Paul Smith on piano, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Stan Levey on drums. Fitzgerald's closely miked, unadorned vocals are powerful, playful and models of phrasing perfection. She makes it sound easy, which of course it could not have been - especially since she often performed two hour-long shows on a single night in two different cities. The trio provides spacious, elegant beds - equally well-phrased - over which she soars, swoops and delivers a set of mostly joyful tunes. You could spend more than a few spins listening just to Smith's swinging backing (and you should). Two other reasons why this album is remarkable: one of which is that the stereo recording is absolutely spectacular (the 1960 recording was mono only). According to Ella's '80s era drummer Gregg Field (in a New Mexico NPR interview) who mixed the album, 'It was sitting in a vault all of these years. When we were handed the tape box, it still had the yellow scotch tape that hadn't been opened.' If they were able to mix the album, it must have been a 3 track master tape. It sure sounds that transparent and 'you are there' quality. And from the credits it appears that Ryan K. Smith cut it from a digital source. If that stops you from owning this on the double record set pressed at GZ Media on standard weight vinyl, your loss! The final reason why this is a remarkable document is consider the date: 1962. Twenty years earlier America was at war with Germany trying to defeat Hitler. Twenty years earlier in the same Sportpalast arena that could hold upwards of 14,000 people, Joseph Goebbels delivered his 'Total War' speech to a select audience of Nazi supporters. And here's Ella singing and swinging twenty years later to an adoring audience in the same hall that had been seriously damaged during the war (it was demolished in 1973). Remarkable, indeed." - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 10/11



Track Listing:


Side A
1. Cheek To Cheek
2. My Kind Of Boy
3. Cry Me A River
4. I Won't Dance
5. Someone To Watch Over Me

Side B
1. Jersey Bounce
2. Angel Eyes
3. Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
4. Taking A Chance On Love
5. C'est Magnifique

Side C
1. Good Morning Heartache
2. Hallelujah, I Love Him So
3. Hallelujah, I Love Him So [Reprise]
4. Summertime

Side D
1. Mr. Paganini
2. Mack The Knife
3. Wee Baby Blues


Click here to listen to samples on YouTube.com






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