180-gram double LP
Long considered a jewel in Verve Records' very impressive crown, Ella Fitzgerald's songbook collections of various composers — a series that was started by the success of this set — are all wonderful, but her natural wit and intelligence was at its most perfect with Cole Porter's erudite, urbane songs. While not as scat-oriented as her small group outings, these Porter sets offer her most realized pop performances. A true American music gem. The Cole Porter Songbook was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000, which honors recordings that have qualitative or historical significance.
Fitzgerald arrived at Capitol Studios in Hollywood to begin recording on Feb. 7, 1956. Joining her was Norman Granz, the founder and guiding light behind Verve Records and his arranger and A&R man, 15-year-old Buddy Bregman.
The combination of Ella and Porter is irresistible and whether up-tempo or down-tempo, Ella's three-octave range soars effortlessly as she makes each song come to life. All helped by the cream of L.A. session men and Buddy Bregman's arrangement that ooze sophistication, sophistication that is way beyond his years. It is a perfect record. The record was completed after four separate days of recording on March 27.