22 hours ago
The Nearness of You: Buddies Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong laying down tracks for “Ella and Louis,” the first of their three brilliant joint Verve releases. Each song was taken as an individual piece, with Ella and “Satchmo” swapping vocals back and forth depending on the song and the mood. Louis punctuated several cuts with his timeless trumpet solos. The contrast of the two voices, sometimes singing in different keys, swapping verses or singing together like sandpaper on velvet, brings jazz that is mellow, rewarding, and swinging. Check out “Moonlight in Vermont” for a contrast in styles. Both Ella and Louis caress this song, but with such individuality, it seems almost impossible for the two interpretations to fit together. But fit they did. This 1956 album also inaugurated another unusual facet to Ella’s recording career: the re-cutting of songs already recorded, even if they had been recently recorded, to fit an album’s theme. “April in Paris” was given a new treatment here, as it was again nineteen years later in the album, “Ella and Oscar,” for producer Granz’s final label, Pablo. Every single song from this collection has been given further treatment by Ella elsewhere, many of them within three years of this recording. Every time she stepped up to the microphone, the treatment was different, fresh, and interesting.
From “ELLA: A Biography of the Legendary Ella Fitzgerald” by Geoffrey Mark, Softcover Edition w/ 2-CD set today on Amazon: https:amzn.to/2DKvLZe
Also available as Kindle and iBook downloads, or directly from publisher Ultimate Symbol: https:ultimatesymbol.com/EllaSoftcover ⠀
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