This is now a highly-prized possession. It’s an original 1970s pre-recorded audio cassette, featuring the 1974 live album Ella in London, by the great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. It was bought by my Mother either at or shortly after an Ella Fitzgerald performance she went to see. I don’t know what year the performance my Mom went to see took place, but it would have been mid ’70s – no later than 1977 I’m sure. That period is all very hazy for me because I was so young and I wasn’t really taking in detailed information, but I do remember my Mom raving on about Ella Fitzgerald for literally months. The event clearly had a big impact on her.
This album was recorded at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in the April of ’74, and I’d recommend any music lover listens to it. Jazz isn’t everyone’s thing, but I think Ella in London goes beyond the style and into the broader category of ‘great music’. It’s very dynamic and full of personality. You definitely get the feel of the club atmosphere, and the singing is fantastic. Recording quality, whilst rather ‘mic in room’ as opposed to ‘mixed’ in nature, is very good on the tape itself, with great definition across the frequency range.
You may have noticed from the Pablo Records label on the cassette that the recording is not in stereo, but in mono. What a blast from the distant past that is. A mono album. The plastic casing is quite an unusual colour – a sort of beige, which I’m not really sure was quite as dark and yellowy as this originally. Maybe the plastic’s aged over the years. I can’t really remember how the tape looked when my Mom first bought it. Sadly, I don’t know what’s happened to the original case either. But what a great example of a mid 1970s pre-recorded audio cassette this is.