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The Absolute Sound 40th Anniversary Best Sounding Music!
Michael Fremer Rated 8 out of 10 for Music, 9 out of 10 for Sound and Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the February 2012 Issue of Stereophile!
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.
If you're a jazz-following audiophile, go buy this right away. Flummoxed by the $50 price tag? How much would you pay for the most palpable illusion you'll ever experience that Pops and the First Lady of Song are back among the living - standing, breathing, singing, and blowing, right in front of you? ... It's the only QRP Verve I've heard so far, but if it's a harbinger of things to come, it's what Satch would call a mitzvah!
...these are all truly classic Verve titles that you simply don't want to miss...most importantly, the sound of these reissues is nothing short of astounding. Particularly the early Billie and Ella mono records are incredible treasures of sonic beauty. I'd definitely ask Santa for the whole set, or, if you want to cherry pick, the most classic titles. Whatever you decide, you owe yourself at least a half dozen!
- 180g Vinyl
- Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound
- Cut from the Absolute Original Analog Master Tapes
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
|Louis Armstrong||vocals, trumpet|
- Can't We Be Friends
- Isn't This A Lovely Day
- Moonlight In Vermont
- They Can't Take That Away From Me
- Under A Blanket Of Blue
- A Foggy Day
- Stars Fell On Alabama
- Cheek To Cheek
- The Nearness Of You
- April In Paris