For years, "The Girl from Ipanema" was a staple in Ella Fitzgerald's songbook,
so it's something of a wonder that it was not until 1981 that Ella Abraca Jobim, Fitzgerald's double-album immersion in Antonio Carlos Jobim's back catalog, appeared. Ella's first single-composer release since 1964's tribute to Jerome Kern, Ella Abraca Jobim is, more than anything, final proof of the unassuming Brazilian's place in jazz history alongside the great composers.
Fitzgerald and her small group take songs like "Agua de Beber (Water to Drink)" at a slightly speedy a tempo, but she is in very good voice compared to some other recordings from her later years. Norman Granz's production is typically excellent, and the arrangements are refreshingly free of the typical late-'70s/early-'80s post-fusion clichés.
~ Stewart Mason, Rovi
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