Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Nina Simone, Blossom Dearie (vocals, piano); Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Merrill, Abbey Lincoln, Laura Fygi, Michel Legrand (vocals); Everett Barksdale, Bert Meulendijk, Herb Ellis, Phil Lee , Rudy Stevenson, Pierre Cavalli (guitar); St‚phane Grappelli (violin); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (flute); Johnny Hodges, Hymie Shertzer, Milt Yaner (alto saxophone); Bill Holcomb, Stan Getz (tenor saxophone); Red Solomon, Paul Webster, Bernie Privin (trumpet); Clark Terry (flugelhorn); Mort Bullman (trombone); Hank Jones , Horace Parlan, Joachim K?hn, Oscar Peterson, Billy Strayhorn, Hans Vroomans, Earl Hines (piano); Jurre Haanstra (keyboards); Frits Landesbergen (vibraphone); George Duvivier, Jimmy Woode, Ray Brown , Malcolm Creese, Michael Fleming, Guy Pedersen, Jean Francois, Jenny Clark (bass instrument); Steve Ellington (drums, percussion); Jo Jones , Sam Woodyard, Harold Fisher, Daniel Humair, Buddy Rich, Johnny Blowers (drums).
Continuing their excellent series of ballads and slower numbers paying tribute to a city, Verve has issued this 11-song set of songs as lovely as the city being serenaded: Paris. The collection starts and finishes with tracks featuring Louis Armstrong, a surprise choice considering that Armstrong is widely recognized for his uptempo catalog and gravelly voice, but it works very well, especially with Ella Fitzgerald in tow for the opening "April in Paris." Spanning over four decades, this soothing, enjoyable collection ranges from legends to contemporary favorites and is ideal as a soundtrack playing in the background or for a wide range of other relaxing environments. ~ Rob Theakston