Louis Armstrong

Sings and Plays with Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday

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Giants of Jazz presents a handy little introduction to Louis Armstrong that focuses upon recordings he made during the late '40s and early '50s in the company of his own All-Stars (including singing trombonist Jack Teagarden); with Louis Jordan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. "My Sweet Hunk O' Trash," composed by Harlem stride piano master James P. Johnson and recorded with backing by Sy Oliver's orchestra on September 30, 1949, is a precious example of Lady Day savoring the opportunity to work in collaboration with her prime musical influence, Louis Armstrong. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" is a glorious prologue to the duets that Louis and Ella would perform in the studios a few years later for producer Norman Granz's Verve label. There are lots of Louis Armstrong compilations on the market. This one will work just fine, especially if you're marooned somewhere, living on raisin bread and rainwater and it's the only Louis Armstrong disc in the entire region. Under less challenging circumstances, it just might pay to shop around and locate an even better, more essential taste.

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