The year was 1961, the venue the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. After a memorable performance in Berlin a year earlier, Fitzgerald was once again singing to a packed concert hall. Norman Granz, serious and to the point, introduced the musicians. Lou Levy had long been accompanying Ella. The quartet took the stage with the singer herself. In her fresh, almost girlish voice and that hint of characteristic impertinence, she launched into “Too Close for Comfort”, followed by “On a Slow Boat to China”. By now the singer had the audience firmly in the palm of her hand. The performance was quite the opposite of what took place in a recording studio. Fitzgerald settled in as if she were in her living room, welcoming each spectator like a privileged guest and each song she sang, a gracefully proffered glass of champagne. The pieces had to be kept short because she had to see that all the members of the public were served. This release has captured that performance, and has been remastered for crystal-clear sound quality. It’s the closest thing to being right there in the audience those five decades ago.