George Gershwin's "The ultimate collection" George Gershwin's "The ultimate collection", is a compilation of Gershwin's greatest hits. The compilation is made out of two CD's; the first cd is Gershwins pieces sung by different jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and more... The second cd, is Gerswhin's famous pieces taken from musical shows such as Porgy and Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, Cuban overture, Funny face and more. First Cd: The cd starts with the song "Strike up the Band " performed by Oscar Peterson. The piece consists of a piano, cello. This song in my opinion sets the mood of the cd.
It represents pure jazz music without the vocals. When i close my eyes and listen to this song I picture a club from the 1940's with jazz music and people dancing around. The second song, "Summertime", a very famous jazz piece performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, starts with a horn and an orchestra in the back. The lyrics of the song talks about a slaved woman, looking over her workers child.
"Summertime" is sort of a lullaby song. Louis Armstrong's performance in this song is very well done; I really enjoyed his vocals. I also noticed the use of violins in this piece. The song ends with a duet with both of the singers together. "The man I love" sung by Sarah Vaughan, and "Someone to watch over me" sung by Blossom Dearie, are both typical love songs. I enjoyed the second one more then the first love song, because it is more soulful, only with a piano in the background and great vocal performance by Blossom Dearie.
The mood changes in the next few songs. "They can't take that away from me" sung by Billie Holiday, a very famous piece of work composed by Gershwin. A very upbeat song i might add, typical jazz song, with the use of a trumpet, drums and more... "Funny Face" sun by Fred Astaire, taken from the musical "Funny Face" this to me sounds more like a song taken out of a New York city Broadway show.
Very mellow song, very enjoyable. " S' wonderful" performed by Joe William & Count Basie, one of my favorite songs composed by Gerswhin. Use of typical instruments for jazz songs (drums, pianos, trumpets... ). This song has a very party mood; it is a very upbeat song. The next couple of songs, are basic love songs / blues songs.
"For you, for me, forever more" performed by Morgan King, in my opinion this song repeats itself from the other love songs, still great performance by Morgan King. "Who Care's" the title for the song speaks for itself, im getting slowly disappointed of the first cd, the songs basically repeat themselves, same themes (mostly about love), same kind of instruments used in each song. "They All laughed" performed by Bing Crosby and Buddy Bergman, great song, very enjoyable and upbeat tune. This song is short but very good. Orchestral work done very well. This Cd ends with "Embreaceble you" performed by Ella Fitzgerald, i feel very neutral towards this song, it basically concludes the first cd in a good way.
In conclusion for the first cd, i really enjoyed the first parts, the upbeat tunes, and the "jazzy" songs, i was just disappointed in the second half; for the reason that it was very repetitive. Second Cd: The first piece is "Rhapsody in blue" a sixteen minute song. " The rhapsody in Blue has its detractors... the work is a bit loose...
but its invention carries most listeners along. Gershwin puts in a slew of great tunes, probably enough for three different works. The final plunge to the finish like will most likely bring you to your feet. Gershwin builds in a standing ovation" (Steven Schwarz, web). The second piece comes from George Gershwins "Cuban Overture" performed by the pianist Ivan Davis and the Cleveland Orchestra. This song is a mix of Cuban rhythms with George Gershwin's own thematic material.
The result of this is a symphonic overture with cuban beats. The next song is a suite from Girl Crazy, great song, i can even imagine the dance sequences in my head through this piece. All the rest of the songs on this cd, are taken out of Gershwin's musicals. Conclusion: In my opinion, the second cd of this compilation is much better then the first one, because i enjoyed listening to the classic songs from Gershwin's musicals. The first half of the first cd, is enjoyable with songs like "Summertime", "S' Wonderful etc. In my opinion the other songs just repeat themselves.
All in all, i give this cd a good mark; it's "compiled" very well. 37 d.