High Quality 180g Vinyl Double LP!
Fitzgerald & Armstrong Joined By Orchestra Conducted By Russell Garcia!
The dream of creating an American opera such as Scott Joplins "Treemonisha", written in 1911, inspired George Gershwin a good twenty years later to amazing compositional feats. While Gershwin had brought his musical and musical comedies with great éclat to Broadway, he wanted his through-composed stage work "Porgy And Bess" to be regarded as a legitimate opera.
No matter whether one regards this exceptional work as "American folk opera" (The New York Times) or as a veristic portrayal of African-American life, central to the work is the expressionistic orchestral music that includes (work) songs, spirituals and elements of jazz, and the cast of singers, which, at the insistence of Gershwin, featured African-American singers.
This stipulation will certainly have suited Verve boss Norman Granz who engaged not only a fresh and lively big band but also a classical string orchestra to support his successful duo of Ella and Louis. Thanks to this superb line-up, the catchy song "I Got Plenty O Nuttin" rolls along sleekly with swing and drive, while "Summertime" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" wafts away to the sound of heavenly violins. Listening to this music, you couldnt care less about the genre or category, just as long as these two genial musicians perform wonderfully arranged material from the American Song Book. The incomparable nasal twang of Armstrongs solo trumpet seeks out unerringly jazz elements where you would least expect them.
"Yes, this was recorded in stereo in 1957 (the stereo edition had to wait until 1960 for vinyl release) but it hardly sounds datedunless by "dated" you mean a wide screen event with the orchestra spread mostly left and right bathed in carefully applied reverb leaving Ella and Louis plenty of center stage to fill and fill it they do! On side four's medley "Here Come De Honey Man", "Crab Man", "Oh, Dey's So Fresh and Fine (Strawberry Woman)" Ella is bathed in enough reverb to drown her. It's an usual choice. Just as that fades out, Louis begins singing equally bathed in reverb, "walking" across the stage. The sequence takes on a dream like feel." - analogplanet, Music 10/11, Sound 9/11
180g Virgin Vinyl
High Quality Pressing
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
Ella Fitzgerald, vocals
Louis Armstrong, vocals, trumpet
Russell Garcia, conductor
3. I Wants to Stay Here
4. My Man's Gone Now
5. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
6. Buzzard Song
7. Bess, You Is My Woman Now
1. It Ain't Necessarily So
2. What You Want Wid Bess?
3. A Woman Is a Sometime Thing
4. Oh, Doctor Jesus
5. Medley: Here Come de Honey Man / Crab Man / Oh, Dey's So Fresh and Fine
6. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
7. Bess, Oh Where Is My Bess?
8. Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way
Recording: August 1957 in Los Angeles and October 1957 in Chicago