Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ella and Louis Sing Gershwin

I bought this album for one reason and one reason only: I love Satchmo. I felt I didn't have enough Louis Armstrong in my life, and I happen to be a Gershwin fan as well so I purchased this disc with no deliberation. At the time I had no idea who this Ella Fitzgerald person was (I feel compelled to point out that this happened 13 years ago. I've learned a lot since then). When I popped this disc into my discman, I was greeted by the most beautiful female voice I ever heard. Apparently this Ella Fitzgerald was some sort of goddess. I double dippy dog dare you to find a voice better than Ella Fitzgerald. Sure, Aretha Franklin is soulful but it's close and no cigar. Emmylou Harris sends shivers down my spine, but she doesn't knock my jaw to the floor. Susanna Hoffs is a stone cold fox with a distinctive set of pipes, but I'll still take Ella every time. Nobody can do what Ella Fitzgerald did. Bless Sara Vaughn for trying, but there will never be another Ella Fitzgerald.

So when you take the greatest female voice in the history of music and add the unmistakable Satchmo growl and lay it all down on a bed of Gershwin songwriting, you've got pure gold. There simply is no better version of "Summertime" than the one offered here. "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" never had the chemistry Ella and Louis give it. Every song is a gem. I cannot recommend this disc and the respective catalogs of the artists involved highly enough.

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