The voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are among the most personal and beautiful that the history of music has given us, transcending eras, genres and languages. In this wonderful 6-CD box we can find the legacy of this immortal duet including all their key tracks and also some rarities that connoisseurs will surely appreciate. With remastered sound and beautiful cover art, The Complete Anthology is the definitive album of Ella & Louis, which should be on every music collection.
Here is an instruction manual for singers. Phrasing, intonation, breath control, taste, musicianship, restraint, humor; it's all here. What with "jazz singing" wandering all over the lot as the century staggers to a close, let's hope that The Complete (what dimensions that phrase has in this context) Ella and Louis will be used for serious course work, and not just by beginners. The package contains everything from the LPs Ella & Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess, plus two tracks of Fitzgerald sitting in with Armstrong's band at the Hollywood Bowl. The contrast between her polished perfection and his rough perfection is delicious. Armstrong's trumpet playing, nearing its last full burst of glory, is as moving as his voice.The songs are by the cream of American song writers, including Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Arlen, Ronnell, Duke and Kern. They have never been sung better.
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong make for a charming team on this CD. Accompanied by pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Buddy Rich, Fitzgerald and Armstrong perform 11 standards with joy and swing. There are touches of Satch's trumpet, but this is primarily a vocal set with the emphasis on tasteful renditions of ballads. Its follow-up, Ella & Louis Again, is also worth getting. ~ AllMusic
Producer Norman Granz oversaw two Porgy & Bess projects. The first involved Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and came together during the autumn of 1957 with brassy big band and lush orchestral arrangements by Russ Garcia. This is the classic Verve Porgy & Bess, and it's been reissued many, many times. The second, recorded during the spring and summer of 1976 and issued by RCA, brought Ray Charles together with versatile British vocalist Cleo Laine, backed by an orchestra under the direction of Frank DeVol. ~ AllMusic