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The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong On Verve

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

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Album Review

Almost all of these summit meetings have been in print virtually since CDs first appeared in listeners' lives, but never in one package. Here, you get all of Ella and Louis, the double-album sets Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess, and two live tracks recorded at the Hollywood Bowl in 1956 — all in an unusual three-CD album that partially unfolds into an accordion-file (what will Verve's inventive packaging wizards think of next?). There are two booklets, one of which contains a rare recent interview with producer Norman Granz, and the other the notes from the original albums. Of the two wonderfully relaxed Ella and Louis albums, with their Oscar Peterson-driven rhythm quartets, the sequel seems a more diverse, more involving collection, although Satch doesn't play as much trumpet on Again as he does on the first album. Also, the two go it alone on several tracks, but one is not at all inconvenienced by the inclusion of solo gems like Armstrong's sly catalog of intercouplings on "Let's Do It." The Porgy session is an entirely different creature — a big, formal presentation with Russ Garcia's lush yet atmospheric and even powerful orchestrations, reverberant sound (normally a Granz no-no), grandly moving vocal performances by the two, and a handful of tremendous trumpet solos from Pops. Alas, no unissued tracks turn up here, and of course, MCA still controls all of the earlier Decca duets (hence the disclaimer "Complete on Verve") — so veteran Ella/Louis collectors may opt to hang on to earlier issues. But for those who don't have everything, this is irresistible. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Look no further

There is no need to go searching for that song anymore....they are all here.... I just love listening to them together. You go from gentle relaxation to tapping your feet. Definately worth the buy...only suggestion - where is this CD booklet thing you describe?????

THIS IS THE ONE YOU WANT!

Don't hesitate to spend the money, you'll be listening to this music for years. Remarkable.

Fantastic

I've been listening to this collection for over 20 years…you'll love it.

Biography

Born: April 25, 1917 in Newport News, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

"The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was arguably the finest female jazz singer of all time (although some may vote for Sarah Vaughan or Billie Holiday). Blessed with a beautiful voice and a wide range, Fitzgerald could outswing anyone, was a brilliant scat singer, and had near-perfect elocution; one could always understand the words she sang. The one fault was that, since she always sounded so happy to be singing, Fitzgerald did not always dig below the surface of the lyrics she interpreted...
Full Bio