Two household names in jazz: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. The duo that critics have called “A match made in heaven.” Ella is “The First Lady of Song,” and Louis “the Ambassador of jazz.” In retrospect, the two were a skeptical pairing. They were already well-established musicians, both with their own distinct and recognizable sound. How could Ella’s voice- radiant, warm, sweet as honey and Louis’ gritty, gravelly, croon sound congruous? In 1956 the two came together to create “Ella and Louis.” The album would receive exceptional critical acclaim and commercial success. In fact, the album was such a success that the following year the dynamic duo came out with another gem “Ella and Louis Again.”

The sequel album was backed by the Oscar Peterson trio, with Louie Bellson replacing Buddy Rich on the drums. The ten-track album had seven tracks with solo singing and three duet tracks. “Ella and Louis Again” stood out from their first album and subsequent album “Porgy and Bess.” It focused more on the artist’s voices rather than Louis’ trumpet solos on “Ella and Louis” and didn’t have a big band like the one featured in “Porgy and Bess.” This focus truly brought the voices of the two icons center stage, where they were able to perform in perfect black and white contrast. The Oscar Peterson trio did not go unnoticed, however. They were mentioned as a “solid rhythm section” by Alex Henderson at allmusic.com.

“Ella and Louis Again” will rein down in history as being an important piece to what could be considered the most iconic jazz trilogy of all time.

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“Don’t Be That Way” and “Stompin’ the Savoy” are additional tracks worth checking out.

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