Two of the biggest singers who ever worked for Verve Records – captured perfectly at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Ella Fitzgerald steps out with a strong, lively groove on the first half of the set – swinging things with a looser, more upbeat quality than on some of her mellower Verve studio sets of the late 50s – really grooving it up with small combo backing from the trio of pianist Don Abney! Billie Holiday
also gets some small combo backing too – a hip trio with Mal Waldron on piano, Joe Benjamin on bass, and Jo Jones on drums – often a bit more laidback than the group on Ella's sides, but in a great way that helps Holiday
hit a very intimate sound, even before this large audience. Ella sings "This Can't Be Love", "Body & Soul", "April In Paris", "I Got A Crush On You", and "Airmail Special" – and Billie
sings "Nice Work If You Can Get It", "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", "My Man", "Willow Weep For Me", and "Lady Sings The Blues". CD also features 3 more unissued bonus tracks by Ella – "Too Close For Comfort", "Lullaby Of Birdland", and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter". And, added to all of this are 7 more tracks recorded by Carmen McRae at Newport, not issued by Verve in the 50s because Carmen was working for Decca! These sides feature trio backing too – from groups featuring Ray Bryant and Junior Mance on piano – on titles that include "Body & Soul", "Skyliner", "I'll Remember April", "Perdido", and "Love Is Here To Stay".
(Digipack has light wear.)