Ella Fitzgerald

For Lovers

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When listeners think of Ella Fitzgerald's musical friends, it's Louis Armstrong who comes to mind first -- the pair recorded two solo albums together, and "convivial" doesn't begin to do justice to the warm atmosphere that was carried across on Ella and Louis and Ella and Louis Again. While Verve's For Lovers series had an Ella Fitzgerald volume from early on, they had to stretch quite a bit -- too far -- to fill this volume and make it function as more than just a showcase for Ella and Louis. Sure, she did incredible work with arrangers Nelson Riddle and Billy May, but these performances of "My One and Only Love" and "This Time the Dream's on Me" really don't evoke friendship like a true vocal duet. Of those, there are only two, "April in Paris" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" with Armstrong (and the latter is a poor selection "for lovers"). It's a scattered compilation, one that doesn't give enough of what it promises, aside form the wonderful work of Ella Fitzgerald.

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