by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (1956)
I usually like my albums, particularly jazz ones, a little messy. I always think artists, like Ray Charles for instance, suffer from over production and accompaniment, but the 1956 album Ella and Louis benefits from the clean sound.
The duos’ unique voices, which are in stark complimentary contrast to each other, are the centerpiece with limited but beautiful musical arrangement. Even Satchmo’s signature trumpet only makes brief appearances.
In what is arguably the pinnacle of vocal duet albums, Ella and Louis perform with love and joy some of the era’s greatest songs by, among others, Berlin and Gershwin. Isn’t It a Lovely Day?, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, and Cheek to Cheek are some of my favorites that have been filling my apartment with musical sunshine as I prance around with Mr. Van.
This is genuine and heart swelling feel good music that sounds as wonderful as the album cover photograph would suggest.
An easily accessible album to those weary of vocal jazz. Even Jim, not so much a fan of the genre has been requesting it get replayed.
But what do you think?