In observance of Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer, here is a landmark recording of George Gershwin’s Summertime, featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. This is an excerpt from their 1957 jazz studio album, Porgy and Bess. The album popularized Summertime and other music from Gershwin’s 1935 opera. (Two years later, a film version of Porgy and Bess was released, starring Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge). Fitzgerald was a longtime friend of the Gershwins. Ira Gershwin once remarked, “I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them.”
Here is another appropriate selection for today—Ella Fitzgerald’s recording of September Song by Kurt Weill. I offered a few thoughts on this haunting ballad in this previous post.