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July 1, 2009

ABW 2009, Album of the Weekend

This one album might have been played more than any single artist at All Balboa Weekend, 2009; even Benny Goodman!

As much as I would like to officially call it “The band formerly known as the Chick Webb Orchestra, featuring Ella Fitzgerald on background vocals”, you would be unable to find such a CD available for purchase. But if you look for “Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra; Live at the Savoy”, and you will find one of the best albums ever pressed.

The recording comes in that awkward space immediately following Chick’s passing, and before Ella went out on her own. Personally for me, I find this album to contain some of the best swing recordings ever, despite critics of Ella AHO at the time who said that “her” band just wasn’t that good. This has turned out to be one of the best purchases I have ever made.

Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra

Ella Fitzgerald and her Famous Orchestra

The sound quality alone is top notch. You might not even recognize at first that this is a live recording from the Savoy.

Favorite tracks? Easy:

  • Sugarfoot Stomp
  • Everybody Rock
  • In The Groove (At The Grove)

For those in the Pasadena, CA area, I would check out Canterbury Records. My favorite record store in the country. For those NOT in Southern California, you can try emusic.com (they have it for sure), or if you arent into digital downloads, amazon didnt have it when i searched for it, if you find it online anywhere else, let me know.