Old pals Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong teamed up in the late 1940s when she was on the Decca label, but it's their three albums for Verve Records that are most remembered. The first of those, 1956's Ella and Louis (note that Ella was such a huge star at the time that she was billed ahead of beloved living legend Armstrong), was so pristine and so well received that a year ago, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
With a killer backing quartet of Ray Brown on bass, Herb Ellis on guitar, Oscar Peterson on piano, and Buddy Rich on drums, with Buddy Bregman arranging and conducting, the dynamic duo of Ella and Louis laid down eleven classic recordings, each one a gem in its own right.
Satchmo takes a supporting role on the 1944 standard "Moonlight in Vermont," contributing a trumpet solo and just two and a half lines of vocals, but boy, does it showcase Ella's voice at its most haunting and crystalline.
BONUS: Look below for a May 9, 1958 performance from The Frank Sinatra Show, in which Ella duets with Frank!
Ella 101 is a daily look at 101 essential recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, who was born 101 years ago this month. Tune in to Equinox, Monday nights from 8 - 11 p.m. on WYSO, to hear Ella and more great jazz with host Duante Beddingfield.