Sunday, 4 April 2010

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - 'Ella and Louis'

I don't really know anything about this record - for me, it's a really cool recording of two people at the top of their game, effortlessly swinging through a few standards. But maybe connoisseurs know this to be a cheesy commercial cash-in - whatever, I love it. There's a sleepy, languid quality to a lot of this. Even when they step it up on 'They Can't Take That Away From Me', you get the impression that they're both still sitting down.

I think I bought this from the now defunct chain 'Our Price' while living in Salisbury in the late 1980s. When I got it home, I was blown away by the warmth and intimacy of the recording. I'd just started getting into to hip hop, and this was the opposite of processed, sequenced music, a record in the truest sense - a recording of a performance. They probably knocked this out in an afternoon. To me, brilliant, warm, and deeply soulful.

It reminds me of sunny autumnal Sunday mornings in a bedsit in Salisbury, a rare moment of quiet between work and play. Which, thinking about it, meant being hungover and freezing.

Tracks: Can't We Be Friends, Isn't This A Lovely Day, Moonlight in Vermont, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Under a Blanket of Blue, Tenderly, A Foggy Day, Stars Fell on Alabama, Cheek to Cheek, The Nearness of You, April in Paris.

Catalogue Number: Verve 825 373-1

1 comment:

  1. I have this one as a triple box set, and it is just perfect for playing in the pub in the afternoon. Especially if you are really busy and don't have time to devote to choosing music. You can just keep on flipping it over, and switching to a different disc. In fact, I have a feeling that we once played this for the entire day once (twelve hours), when there was just so much to do, and nobody complained about it.