Ella Fitzgerald singing Eric Clapton’s Sunshine of Your Love, or the Beatles’ Hey Jude? Something of a revelation for those who know Fitzgerald as purely a jazz singer. In October 1968 Ella Fitzgerald performed such a set of selected pop songs at the Venetian Room in The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. Ella’s pristine clarity of earlier years, now tinged with a throaty worldliness, is a perfect foil to her choices from the world of rock and pop. It also adds new depth to such standards as Give Me the Simple Life, Old Devil Moon, and Burt Bachrach’s A House is Not a Home.
Recorded “live”, the album is divided into a big band set and Ella with her long-time accompaniment, the Tommy Flanagan trio. Pianist Flanagan is simply one of the all-time greats. After listening to this, how can you not be a fan of Ella’s?