Ella Fitzgerald Albums Ranked

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here are all of Ella Fitzgerald’s albums ranked.

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10. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Songbook (1958)

Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book, Volume 1 | Discogs

“Ella and Small Groups: absolutely stunning! A marvelously clean recording. I don’t know how this compares to the original Verve album set or the remastered Gatefold import, but it is completely satisfying sonically as well as musically.”

9. Souvenir Album (1947)

Ella Fitzgerald – Souvenir Album (1949, Vinyl) - Discogs

“Contrary to public perception of Ella’s “Decca” years as time wasted on peppy jingles, this cute little 8 songs album shows that “Decca” had occasionally gave her first-rate material but Fitz wasn’t that hot yet. Even when she had chance to finally sing Duke Ellington, “Cabin In The Sky” or “Showboat” standard, Fitz sounded as little orphaned girl (which she was), sad and mournful, cautious not to raise her subdued voice above sentimental whisper.”

8. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Rodgers And Hart Songbook  (1956)

Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book + 14 Bonus - Jazz Messengers

“A genuine artistic triumph for solo artist, lyricist, composer, arranger-orchestrator, musical conductor and entire production unit. What a thrilling array of selections, offering a rich legacy for the discriminating listener.”

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7. Like Someone In Love (1957)

Ella '57: Ella Fitzgerald Flies High | Night Lights Classic Jazz - Indiana  Public Media

“Ella sings with the smoothness of drizzling honey, and warmth of glowing embers. Did I go too far, no not really. I love this album. Every song is a gem and each rendition is all about her dreamy voice. There’s no over orchestration or overworked arrangements that can bury a singer. Ella’s voice is the blossom on this lyrical vine.”

6. Ella Sings Gershwin (1950)

Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Sings Gershwin (1951, Vinyl) - Discogs

“Being well known in the jazz community of her day, as one of the best singers of swing and bop, Ella just wasn’t satisfied. Up until then, most of her releases for Decca were of the variety just spoken of. Since the advent of the LP in the 40’s opened up more artists to have a go at a more pop oriented style, Ella wanted to be known as a great vocalist, not only as a swing singer, but as a great vocalist period. In order to appeal to a wider audience she decided that a compilation of 8 Gerswin tunes would be a good way to do so.”

5. Lullabies Of Birdland (1955)

Lullabies of Birdland (EJC 55742) - Ella Fitzgerald

“Ella Fitzgerald is widely regarded as the greatest scat singer of all time and probably the greatest singer full stop. I enjoyed this 1954 cd from her and as much as I love her scatting it was the songs Lullaby Of Birdland and Angel Eyes that remain my favourite… Hail queen Ella”

4. Ella In Berlin (1960)

The Complete Ella In Berlin: Mack The Knife (Live) - Album by Ella  Fitzgerald | Spotify

“No matter what mood I’m in, listening to Ella is sure to improve it! Many of these songs can be found on her “Songbook” recordings but it’s great to hear them live! These include, The Man I Love, Summertime, The Lady Is A Tramp, Our Love Is Here To Stay and more. She switches back and forth between up tempo songs to ballads with her usual ease…..ending this album with Mack The Knife and How High The Mood, which the audience requested was a brilliant idea! I can’t think of many artists that I would actually enjoy listening to improvising forgotten lyrics than listening to Ella do it. It’s so much fun to listen to this!”

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3. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Duke Ellington Songbook (1957)

Sings the duke ellington song book vol. 2 by Ella Fitzgerald, 12inch with  ny-212 - Ref:117029705

“Ella has some incredibly long albums, the “songbook” series are typically 2+ hours, with the Ellington songbook being one of the longest. That said, while some of the other shorter ones get old after a bit (Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart), this one is fantastic the whole way through. If you don’t have 3 hours to spare to listen to this album in full, I’d recommend first checking out the final 3 songs: “Chelsea Bridge” through “The E & D Blues”. Those are highlights of the album for me, give a sample of what you’ll find on the rest of the album, and perfectly close the whole set.”

2. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Songbook (1959)

Ella Fitzgerald, Nelson Riddle - Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George And Ira  Gershwin Song Book by Ella Fitzgerald (1998-06-01) - Amazon.com Music

“Granz’ arrangement gives the whole production some real life and charm. Worthy of being on this list, worthy of listening to, especially the run of sixteen tracks from Sam and Delilah to The Great American Folk Song, the vocal contingent of the 1998 CD reissue’s first disc. But Not For Me deserved its Grammy award.”

1. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book (1956)

Sings the Cole Porter Song Book - Ella Fitzgerald

“This is an incredible collection of music. It not only showcases how talented a vocalist Ella was, but also how sophisticated and enjoyable was the music of Cole Porter. Almost every song is lyrically and musically at the peak of the American pop music. Sure, the record is epic, but so are most boxsets. Ella’s voice is smooth and charming throughout. It’s what everyone else tries to do when you go see vocal jazz live, but other vocalists don’t have her phrasing, her lightness, and her ability to empathize with these lyrics, even if she’s sung them a hundred times before.”