Louis Armstrong / Ella Fitzgerald

Ella & Louis: The Collection

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The material on this budget-priced 18-track collection by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is well known to jazz fans and to those who have followed either or both of these two artists in the past. For what is no doubt intended to be an introductory sampler, Demon's Red Box imprint has assembled some of the more well-known collaborations between the two, and offered a few solo performances by each artist as well toward the end of the disc. The first eight cuts here are all songs by George Gershwin, including classics such as "Summertime," "My Man's Gone Now," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," and "Oh Lawd, I'm on My Way." The rest of the material is comprised of standards such as Gus Kahn's "Dream a Little Dream of Me" and Fitzgerald's great solo reading of "Black Coffee." Armstrong's solo tunes include fine readings of "Blueberry Hill" and "Mack the Knife." All of this material is available in the United States on Verve in more thorough packages, but this set is still a nice way to get started, particularly for the money.

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