Ella and Louis

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Ella and Louis
Studio album by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
Released October/November 1956[1]
Recorded August 16, 1956
Capitol Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Vocal jazz
Length 54:06
Label Verve
Producer Norman Granz
Ella Fitzgerald chronology
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
(1956)Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook1956
Ella and Louis
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
(1956)Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook1956
Louis Armstrong chronology
The Great Chicago Concert
(1956) The Great Chicago Concert1956
Ella and Louis
(1956) Ella and Louis1956
I've Got the World on a String
(1957) I've Got the World on a String1957

Ella and Louis is a 1956 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet.[2] Having previously collaborated in the late 1940s 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.

The album[edit]

Norman Granz, the founder of the Verve label, selected eleven ballads for Fitzgerald and Armstrong, mainly played in a slow or moderate tempo. They were arranged and conducted by Verve Record's resident arranger/conductor and Head of A&R, Buddy Bregman. Recording began August 16, 1956, at the new, and now iconic, Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Though Granz produced the album, Armstrong was given final say over songs and keys.[2]

The success of Ella and Louis was replicated by Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess. All three were released as The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong on Verve.

Verve released the album also as one of the first ones in Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD).


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [3]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 4/5 stars[4]

Writing for Allmusic, music critic Scott Yanow wrote of the album "Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong make for a charming team on this CD... this is primarily a vocal set with the emphasis on tasteful renditions of ballads".[3]

Jasen and Jones called the set a "pinnacle of popular singing".[5]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz compiled by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, rated the album with four stars.

Track listing[edit]

Re-released by PolyGram-Verve on CD in 1989: Verve-PolyGram 825 373-2.

Side one:

  1. "Can't We Be Friends?" (Paul James, Kay Swift) – 3:47
  2. "Isn't This a Lovely Day?" (Irving Berlin) – 6:16
  3. "Moonlight in Vermont" (John Blackburn, Karl Suessdorf) – 3:42
  4. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 4:39
  5. "Under a Blanket of Blue" (Jerry Livingston, Al J. Neiburg, Marty Symes) – 4:18
  6. "Tenderly" (Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence) - 5:10

Side two:

  1. "A Foggy Day" (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin) – 4:32
  2. "Stars Fell on Alabama" (Mitchell Parish, Frank Perkins) – 3:34
  3. "Cheek to Cheek" (Berlin) – 5:53
  4. "The Nearness of You" (Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington) – 5:42
  5. "April in Paris" (Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg) – 6:33


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Val Valentin - session engineer
  • Phil Stern - photography


  1. ^ Billboard Nov 24, 1956
  2. ^ a b c Maxwell, Tom (November 2016). "The Story of 'Ella and Louis,' 60 Years Later". Longreads. Longreads.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Ella and Louis > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 78. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  5. ^ Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz, by David A. Jasen and Gene Jones, 272 pages, Routledge Chapman & Hall (September 2001), ISBN 0-415-93641-1, ISBN 978-0-415-93641-5]