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Analogue Productions / Verve

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Ella and Louis | Mono 45rpm 2LP

$95.00

Analogue Productions / Verve

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Ella and Louis | Mono 45rpm 2LP

$95.00

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A TAV Essential Listening Album.

The very fact that America's biggest jazz label called one of their albums quite simply Ella and Louis indicates that we are talking about something very special here. And surely enough has been said - "Satchmo" and the grande dame of jazz certainly need no further introduction. In the '50s just the mere mention of their forenames was enough to light up the eyes of jazz fans. A glance at the track list reveals that tranquility rules the day: wild stomps and improvised scats will neither be sought nor missed.

Of prime importance to the jazz ballad is a feeling of "letting oneself drift" in the inspiration which gushes forth from the minds of genial American songwriters. This is no contest - for the artists all pursue a common goal with extreme sensitiveness. The background combo, made up of first-class musicians and led by Oscar Peterson, performs with great concentration and almost obtrusive unobtrusiveness. Verve's highly successful producer Norman Granz decided quite deliberately to make the recording in the studio instead of at a live session. And success has verified his judgment, for such vocal jazz knows only gentle tones - but the result is all the more intensive for that.

"If you're a jazz-following audiophile, go buy this right away. Flummoxed by the $50 price tag? How much would you pay for the most palpable illusion you'll ever experience that Pops and the First Lady of Song are back among the living—standing, breathing, singing, and blowing, right in front of you? ... It's the only QRP Verve I've heard so far, but if it's a harbinger of things to come, it's what Satch would call a mitzvah!" — Fred Kaplan, www.stereophile.com, December 2011

"All hail Analogue Productions, the audiophile record company in Salina, Kansas, for hiring the best engineers to invent a new formula for pressing vinyl. The results are simply staggering. Check out the 45rpm remaster of the 1956 Ella & Louis (Fitzgerald & Armstrong). If you have a good stereo, you'll swear they're in the room!" — Fred Kaplan, Slate, December 2011

"...these are all truly classic Verve titles that you simply don't want to miss...most importantly, the sound of these reissues is nothing short of astounding. Particularly the early Billie and Ella mono records are incredible treasures of sonic beauty. I'd definitely ask Santa for the whole set, or, if you want to cherry pick, the most classic titles. Whatever you decide, you owe yourself at least a half dozen!" Winner of a 2012 Positive Feedback Online Writers' Choice Award — Danny Kaey, Positive Feedback Online, November/December 2011

Stereophile Magazine listed as a Record to Die For in 2013.

Originally released in 1956.

Musicians:

  • Louis Armstrong, trumpet, vocals
  • Ella Fitzgerald, vocals
  • Louie Bellson, drums
  • Ray Brown, bass
  • Barrett Deems, drums
  • Herb Ellis, guitar
  • Ed Hall, clarinet
  • Dale Jones, bass
  • Billy Kyle, piano
  • Oscar Peterson, piano
  • Buddy Rich, drums
  • Trummy Young, trombone

Features:

  • Audiophile reissue by Analogue Productions
  • Limited Edition 200 Gram, 45rpm 2LP Set
  • Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound
  • Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes
  • Pressed at Quality Record Pressings.
  • Mono

Source: Acoustic Sounds

 

Notes from album sleeve:

 “Jazz, unlike a bucket of nails, is full of paradoxes. There is, for example, the iconoclasm of the soloist having to mesh with collective improvisation. There is also, for lack of a better term, the business of jazz singing. Jazz, of course, began a good century ago as a vocal music. Yet, it has become increasingly clear with the diminishing of the great blues shouters and the general shitting of the center of the music to an instrumental bias that vocal jazz is, with few exceptions, an extraordinarily difficult form that offers one possible advantage: it´s easier to carry a voice around than a bass fiddle. In fact, the one definable tradition of jazz singing is probably blues singing. The rest of jazz singing has for some time been in the scattered, dissimilar hands of people who have persisted without the backrest of tradition. Among male singers who have not, by and large, had the prowess of female jazz singers-there have been Leo Watson, the remarkable scat singer whose word streams formed a series of harsh, cubistic dreams of birds, Chicago, and big bass drums; Jelly Roll Morton, a great jazz singer whose soft, thin, barreling voice still retains on his records an urgent poignancy, and his semi-followers, Clancy Hayes and Turk Murphy; Lips Page; Jack Teagarden, his prvoice good burlap; Nat King Cole, who developed a Casual, suede approach; and, finally, Louis Armstrong. Among the women, there have been, outside of the early blues singers, two, or possibly three principal figures-Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Mildred Bailey and alongside them, as well as stemming from them, such as Anita O´Day and Sarah Vaughan.

 In recent years, the ranks of female jazz singers, though swelling daily, have been peopled by little more than handsome, leggy dilutions. But Ella Fitzgerald, has, for one reason and another, remained the most vigorous and ineffable singer in jazz and popular music. Her style was virtually set by the time she began professionally in the Thirties with Chick Webb. It was a rhythmical, agile, humorous way of singing that depended on a healthy, rather ordinary voice; a lack of useless ornamentation (most young singers today affect styles that are, basically, borrowed ornamentations); a direct and understanding delivery of lyrics (again, most young singers handle lyrics as if they were sucking mothballs) ; and a musicianship that enabled her to get away from the melody in a way that any composer would have been proud had he thought of it originally. It has, nevertheless, become more subtle, more flexible, more polished, and recently has manifested a luminous lyricism that is not apparent so much in its single parts as in the whole. She gives the impression today of the finished artist whose seams no longer show, whose approach is stable but exciting, and whose mind is in balance with the heart.

 Louis Armstrong, on the other hand, has retained the insuperable singing style he had worked out by the late Thirties. There is less of the whooping, shoveling quality in his voice, which has, like rough waters, inevitably smoothed down, but the great singing foundation is apparent, particularly in the way he approaches ballads. And what great warmth and soul! What his voice has always been is an indication of how jazz singing could go. Louis invariably handles melody like a bear giving a hug; he smothers it in the peculiarities of his voice and enunciation, and out pops a new shapea kind of counter-melody, dressed, nevertheless, in tweeds and pearls.

 Unfortunately, of late, Louis has confined himself almost exclusively to remaking blues of an earlier age and pedestrian popular songs so that each impression was but a fainter and dimmer carbon of the original great talent. This record gives Louis a chance at restoration. The materials are a judicious choice of high-level standards. And instead of his usual, diffident Dixieland backing, there are the Oscar Peterson Trio (Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar) plus Buddy Rich, who are properly pulsive and wholly discreet. In such a palmy setting, Armstrong is in simple, unraffish condition, and Ella is in impeccable voice. The record is full of pleasant inventions: Louis, muted, behind Ella; Ella humming behind Louis´ open horn; Ella and Louis in duet and a kind of near-counterpoint; Louis singing the verse of a song with such great feeling; Ella mimicing Louis; and always, the contrast of the rough and the fairway-of two remarkable voices and talents. A quiet, Sunday-go-to-meeting record, with slow and middle tempos throughout, (that, however, never stop swinging), it creates the sort of jazz that is pensive, rich, and rewarding.”

 

    Item description:        

    Artist:

    Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

    Title:

    Ella and Louis

    Label:

    Analogue Productions / Verve

    Format:

    2 × Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Album, Limited Edition, Remastered, Mono, 200gm

    Pressing:

    US

    Release Date:

    This reissue: 2011 | Original issue: 1956

    Genre:

    Jazz

    Style:

    Easy Listening, Swing, Male Vocals, Female Vocals

    Catalog No:

    AP-4003

    Condition:

    New