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Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Our Love Is Here to Stay - Ella & Louis Sing Gershwin CD
When Ella and Louis recorded a series of albums together for Verve in 1956 and 1957, George Gershwin's songs were a constant theme, including a double LP of Porgy and Bess that delighted Ira Gershwin. This 1998 compilation pulls together material from those recordings to celebrate a union of jazz's greatest singers with a songwriter who had been an essential resource for jazz since the 1920s. The chemistry is consistently inspired, with Armstrong's gravelly voice, perfect rhythmic sense, and still-eloquent trumpet providing a fine complement to Fitzgerald's consummately smooth delivery and extraordinary range. Also included are Ella and Louis's own takes on Gershwin from contemporary sessions, including Fitzgerald's Jazz at the Philharmonic version of "Oh, Lady, Be Good!" (from At the Opera House) that includes Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Stan Getz among the tenor saxophonists. Collectors will want the CD reissues of the original albums to get a complete picture of the Fitzgerald and Armstrong partnership, or Fitzgerald's own extended encounter with Gershwin in the Songbook series; nevertheless, this is a delightful introduction to an inspired collaboration.