Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the key turning points of Louis Armstrong's career occurred at the Town Hall concert fully documented on this two-CD set, a reissue of the earlier two-LP release. Armstrong, who had been leading a big band for 18 years, was showcased with some musical friends who were all very complementary players (including trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Peanuts Hucko and cornetist Bobby Hackett), and the results were so exciting that Armstrong soon broke up his orchestra to form a similar all-star sextet.
For the first time, all of Ella & Louis' classic duets are in one place. This 4CD set gathers their timeless three Verve albums newly remastered versions of Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess combining them with their eight Decca singles, live recordings from Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl plus several alternates & false starts from the Decca & Verve eras, illuminating their craft & good humor. The set also includes an extensive essay by Ricky Riccardi.
The Wild West cowboy occupies a symbolic and central place in popular culture. The lone rider, out on the range… The white-hatted hero facing up to a gang of outlaws in a gunfight… The wagon train heading out over the horizon… Celebrated in cinema since the beginning of movies, the cowboy has also found a regular home on record, as this double CD collection testifies. Listen to these songs and, with just a little imagination, you can picture the solitary cowboy on his trusty steed, watching a cattle round-up, or making his way into a town like Tombstone… A timeless myth, captured forever in these Songs Of The Wild West…
The classic 1962 album Duke Ellington & John Coltrane showcased the rising jazz saxophone innovator performing alongside the long-established piano institution. While the pairing might have portended a dynamic clash of the musical generations, instead we got a casual, respectful, and musically generous meeting of like-minded souls. Similarly, while one might have assumed that Ellington would use his sidemen, instead producer Bob Thiele (who also produced similar albums for Ellington including pairings with Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins) chose to bring in Coltrane's own outfit for the proceedings.
Nat Hentoff prefaced his 1956 down beat review of Verve's first Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong collaboration with a prediction: "Ella and Louis is one of the very, very few albums to have been issued in this era of the LP flood that is sure to endure for decades." Today, those sublime performances, along with two subsequent Norman Granz-produced Fitzgerald-Armstrong albums, are regarded as milestones of American music. A dozen gems from these works are presented here.