(2-LP set) The very fact that America's biggest jazz label called one of their albums quite simply Ella and Louis indicates that we are talking about something very special here. And surely enough has been said - "Satchmo" and the grande dame of jazz certainly need no further introduction. In the '50s just the mere mention of their forenames was enough to light up the eyes of jazz fans. A glance at the track list reveals that tranquility rules the day: wild stomps and improvised scats will neither be sought nor missed. Of prime importance to the jazz ballad is a feeling of "letting oneself drift" in the inspiration which gushes forth from the minds of genial American songwriters.
This is no contest - for the artists all pursue a common goal with extreme sensitiveness. The background combo, made up of first-class musicians and led by Oscar Peterson, performs with great concentration and almost obtrusive unobtrusiveness. Verve's highly successful producer Norman Granz decided quite deliberately to make the recording in the studio instead of at a live session. And success has verified his judgment, for such vocal jazz knows only gentle tones - but the result is all the more intensive for that.