Personnel: Ella Fitzgerald (vocals); Ella Fitzgerald; Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Dave Barbour, Everett Barksdale (guitar); Heine Beau, Chuck Gentry, Jack Dumont (saxophone); Larry Neil (trumpet); Frank Howard (trombone); Ray Brown (bass instrument); Alvin Stoller, Johnny Blowers (drums); Herb Ellis (guitar); Hank D'Amico (clarinet); Frank Ludwig (tenor saxophone); Paul Webster (trumpet); Hank Jones , Oscar Peterson (piano); Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich (drums).
Liner Note Author: Al Young.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/23/1951-07/31/1957); Los Angeles, CA (11/23/1951-07/31/1957); New York, NY (11/23/1951-07/31/1957); Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA (11/23/1951-07/31/1957).
Illustrator: Am?lie Hazard.
Photographer: Popsy Randolph.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dave Barbour & His Orchestra; Sy Oliver's Orchestra.
Arrangers: Dave Barbour; Sy Oliver.
It would be hard to beat this collection of jazz standards sung by two of the most important figures in jazz. For most of the album, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong share the spotlight. However, on certain tunes, Armstrong accompanies Fitzgerald with smart trumpet riffs and vocal harmonies. Such is the case with the elegant ballad, "The Stars Fell on Alabama." Here, Armstrong's gritty voice perfectly contrasts Fitzgerald's silky smooth timbre.
Armstrong's vocal features, "Our Love is Here to Stay" and "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)," both highlight his ability to combine scat with lyric singing. Other selections such as "The Nearness of You" and "Moonlight in Vermont" are particularly poetic numbers rendered superbly by Fitzgerald. On these tunes, The First Lady of Song's voice is especially dreamy and honeyed. Overall, this set of love songs, culled from the Great American Songbook, could not receive a better reading anywhere (or by anyone). The rapport between Fitzgerald and Armstrong is stunning and each song will leave you reaching for another glass of wine and the dimmer switch.