Following in the footsteps of such titles as Ella at the Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (2022), The Lost Berlin Tapes (2020), Ella at the Shrine (2018), and Ella at Zardi's (2017), the team at Mercury Studios has unveiled another previously unreleased concert from the late Ms. Fitzgerald. On January 20, 2023, the label will release Live at Montreux 1969. While the performance from the early years of the Montreux Jazz Festival (founded in 1967) was seen on DVD in 2005, the upcoming CD, LP, and digital releases will mark the audio's first time in those formats.
The 1969 concert was Fitzgerald's first time - but not her last - on the Montreux stage. She was joined by The Tommy Flanagan Trio (pianist Flanagan, bassist Frank De La Rosa, and drummer Ed Thigpen) for an eclectic set looking to both past and present. A full nine of the concert's fourteen songs were drawn from Ella's then-current LP on the MPS label, also (in part) featuring Flanagan and his Trio. Sunshine of Your Love, recorded live at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, found Fitzgerald blending classic standards with modern rock and pop fare. So the audience at Montreux heard Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly" and Alec Wilder's "Trouble Is a Man" alongside tunes from Bacharach and David songs ("A House Is Not a Home" and "This Girl's in Love with You"), Cream ("Sunshine of Your Love"), The Beatles ("Hey Jude"), and Brazilian maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Useless Landscape"). Other songs played at Montreux not on Sunshine of Your Love includes the film theme "A Place for Lovers," a scat medley, and the Jerome Kern-composed "I Won't Dance." Ella's version of the Francis Lai/Jack Keller/Pierre Barouh movie melody "A Man and a Woman" would subsequently appear on her Things Ain't What They Used to Be (And You Better Believe It) album.
Fitzgerald's gifts of interpretation and timeless sense of swing shine through on Live at Montreux as she broadened expectations for what to expect of a jazz vocalist. The concert arrives on CD and LP from Mercury Studios on January 20. It can be pre-ordered at the links below.
Ella Fitzgerald, Live at Montreux 1969 (Mercury Studios, 2023)
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
- Give Me the Simple Life
- This Girl's in Love with You
- I Won't Dance
- A Place for Lovers
- That Old Black Magic
- Useless Landscape
- Love You Madly
- Trouble Is a Man
- A Man and a Woman
- Sunshine of Your Love
- Alright, Okay, You Win
- Hey Jude
- Scat Medley
- A House Is Not a Home
Tom J says
It would have been really cool if Jack or Ginger showed up to sit in on "Sunshine". Much credit to Ella and band for covering this. Never bought anything from EF, I will have to get this!
Mark H. says
I noticed it's already available for streaming on Amazon.