Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas and Brighten The Corner (2006)

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas and Brighten The Corner (2006) Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas and Brighten The Corner (2006)

Brighten the Corner is a 1967 studio album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, debut album on Capitol Records. The album charted at #172 in the Billboard Hot 200 album charts. Re-issued by Capitol Records on CD in 1991 and together, on one CD, with the album "Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas" in 2006. The album was Ella's first since leaving the Verve label, which had seen her produce her most acclaimed body of work. It marked a sharp change of direction for Fitzgerald, as Brighten the Corner saw Ella sing Christian hymns, reflecting her own spirituality, and eschewing the Great American Songbook standards on which she had previously concentrated.

Recorded in 1967 and originally released that same year by Capitol Records as an LP (and re-released seasonally several times since then), Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas is a rarity among rarities in that it is a holiday album that actually holds up as a mature artistic statement. Oh, the songs are familiar, with Fitzgerald tackling 13 standards like "Silent Night," "Joy to the World," and "We Three Kings," but in her hands they become vehicles for her precise yet natural-sounding elocution and subtle, confident vocal phrasing. In other words, she sings these songs like they're fresh and new to the world, and that's no easy task. The end result is one of the best Christmas albums ever made.
—Steve Leggett,

Even though Ella Fitzgerald performs 14 religious hymns and the arrangements (which use the Ralph Carmichael Choir and Orchestra) are tasteful and reverent, she cannot help giving a little swing to a few of these songs. The music is taken quite straight and is outside of jazz yet, due to the beauty of her voice, this listenable set is still worth picking up.
—Scott Yanow,

Track List

Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas

    01. O Holy Night
    02. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
    03. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    04. Away In The Manger
    05. Joy To The World
    06. The First Noel
    07. Silent Night
    08. O Come All Ye Faithful
    09. Sleep, My Little Lord Jesus
    10. Angels We Have Heard On High
    11. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
    12. We Three Kings
    13. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Brighten The Corner

    14. Abide With Me
    15. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
    16. The Old Rugged Cross
    17. Brighten The Corner (Where You Are)
    18. I Need Thee Every Hour
    19. In The Garden
    20. God Will Be With You Till We Meet Again
    21. God Will Take Care Of You
    22. The Church In The Wildwood
    23. Throw Out The Lifeline
    24. I Shall Not Be Moved
    25. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
    26. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
    27. Rock Of Ages, Cleft For Me

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