Louis Armstrong (Trumpet), Ella Fitzgerald (Vocals)
Oscar Peterson (Piano), Ray Brown (Bass), Louie Bellson (Drums), Herb Ellis (Guitar)
Producer Norman Granz had struck a stroke of genius when he signed jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong to his Verve label. The duo, described by critics as “a match made in heaven,” step to the microphone here for a repeat of “Ella And Louis Again,” the sequel to the acclaimed 1956 album “Ella and Louis.” Ella’s voice – radiant, warm, sweet as honey – and Louis’ raspy, gravelly vocals formed a sound that was crowned with commercial success.
The follow-up album was accompanied by the Oscar Peterson trio, with Louie Bellson replacing Buddy Rich on drums. The 10-track album featured seven tracks with solo vocals and three duet tracks. “Ella and Louis Again” differed from their first album and the follow-up “Porgy and Bess.” It focused more on the artists’ voices than on Louis’ trumpet solos on “Ella and Louis” and did not have a big band as on “Porgy and Bess.” This really brought the voices of the two icons into focus, where they could perform in perfect black and white contrast. The Oscar Peterson trio did not go unnoticed, however. Alex Henderson of AllMusic called them a “solid rhythm section.”
“Ella and Louis Again” will go down in history as an important part of arguably the most iconic jazz trilogy of all time.