Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington did not team up in concert until relatively late in their careers (although she did record her Ellington Songbook with him in the '50s). This live double-LP actually finds Fitzgerald singing six numbers with the Jimmy Jones Trio and only "Mack the Knife" and a scat-filled "It Don't Mean a Thing" with the orchestra. Ellington has eight numbers for his band, mostly remakes of older tunes (including a guest appearance by former associate Ben Webster on "All Too Soon," a remarkable Buster Cooper trombone feature, and a rowdy version of "The Old Circus Train Turn-Around Blues"). This is a spirited set of music that with better planning could have been great.
With their fifth full-length album, Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (translated as With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly), Sigur Rós have taken the poppy, sunshiny leanings of their previous album a step further into the light. The band has always been known for otherworldly soundscapes, and while there is enough of that here to keep the faithful happy, the band also writes straightforward, three-minute pop songs like the incredible catchy, sticky-sweet duo ("Gobbldigook," "Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur") that kick the album off like the first rays of the morning sun blazing through your bedroom window. That feeling continues on through the album as both the joyously soaring vocals and the buoyant melodies keep things floating happily on air.