Ella and Louis

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Ella and Louis
Ellaandlouis.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1956[1][2][3]
RecordedAugust 16, 1956
Capitol Studios, Los Angeles
GenreVocal jazz
Length54:06
LabelVerve MGV 4003
Polygram 825 373-2 (1989)
ProducerNorman Granz
Ella Fitzgerald chronology
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
(1956)
Ella and Louis
(1956)
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
(1956)
Louis Armstrong chronology
The Great Chicago Concert
(1956)
Ella and Louis
(1956)
I've Got the World on a String
(1957)

Ella and Louis is a studio album by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, released in October 1956.[1][2][3][4] 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. 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.[5]

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 also released the album as one of the first ones in SACD.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [6]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[7]

Allmusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "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."[6] Jasen and Jones called the set a "pinnacle of popular singing".[8] The Penguin Guide to Jazz, compiled by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, awarded the album four stars.

Björk chose the album as one of her favourites in a 1993 Q magazine feature. "I love the way Ella and Louis work together," she remarked. "They were opposites in how they sung, but were still completely functional together, and respectful of each other."

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Can't We Be Friends?"Paul James, Kay Swift3:47
2."Isn't This a Lovely Day?"Irving Berlin6:16
3."Moonlight in Vermont"John Blackburn, Karl Suessdorf3:42
4."They Can't Take That Away from Me"Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin4:39
5."Under a Blanket of Blue"Jerry Livingston, Al J. Neiburg, Marty Symes4:18
6."Tenderly"Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence5:10

Side two[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."A Foggy Day"Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin4:32
2."Stars Fell on Alabama"Mitchell Parish, Frank Perkins3:34
3."Cheek to Cheek"Irving Berlin5:53
4."The Nearness of You"Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington5:42
5."April in Paris"Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg6:33

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Val Valentin — session engineer
  • Phil Stern — photography

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "October Album Releases" (PDF). The Cash Box. The Cash Box Publishing Co. Inc., NY. 6 October 1956. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Ella and Louis". The Billboard. The Billboard Publishing Co. 13 October 1956. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Pop Albums Coming Up Strong". The Billboard. The Billboard Publishing Co. 3 November 1956. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  4. ^ Giddins, Gary (2009). Satchmo : the wonderful world and art of Louis Armstrong. Abrams. p. 227. ISBN 9780810995284.
  5. ^ Maxwell, Tom (November 2016). "The Story of 'Ella and Louis,' 60 Years Later". Longreads. Longreads.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Ella and Louis > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  7. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 78. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  8. ^ 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]