Progress is definitely happening thanks to the ever sweet jazz boner that I started up this morning. Thank God, for high desk tops. Moving on with today’s “Operation: Block Out Bullshit” theme is the amazing ‘Ella and Louis‘ album.
Take two of the greatest artists that music has ever known, pair them with a rhythm section of masters – Ray Brown (bass), Herb Ellis (guitar), Oscar Peterson (piano), Buddy Rich (drums) – and give them beloved standard fare from the songbook they helped to define and you’ve got one of the most magical albums of jazz. Relaxed, effortless, beautiful, swinging, and fun, this album will charm the pants off even the most resistant of listeners.
C’mon, just look how cute they are sitting there together on the cover.
How can this be anything but amazing?
Essentially, for you jazz idiots, ‘Ella and Louis’ is a 1956 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet – arguably one of the tightest jazz quartets in the business at that time. Having previously collaborated in the late 1940’s for the Decca label, this was the first of three albums that Fitzgerald and Armstrong were to record together for Verve Records, later followed by 1957’s ‘Ella and Louis Again’ and 1959’s ‘Porgy and Bess’.
Both artists were riding high at this stage in their careers. Equally inspired was the choice of material, with the gruffness of Armstrong’s voice blending like magic with Fitzgerald’s stunningly silky delivery. Outstanding are Irving Berlin’s ‘Cheek to Cheek‘ and ‘Isn’t This a Lovely Day‘, and everything else works like a dream, with the golden star going to the Gershwin brothers’ ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me‘.
Gentle and sincere, this is deserving of a place in every home or, as it is today, Ground Zero at Corporate Hell.