Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald: A Fine Romance

It's hard to be disappointed when two of the greatest jazz singers in history share the same recording studio. But this is more than just another all-star date. Louis and Ella left us a masterpiece with their timeless version of the Jerome Kern standard. No grandstanding here or sly games of one-upmanship, just delightful music-making exuding the joie de vivre that helped define these two larger-than-life musical personalities. They treat each other with respect, spiced with coyness and the lightest dose of sensuality -- just what we expect from two courting lovebirds. A fine romance indeed!

November 20, 2007 · 0 comments

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Marian McPartland: A Fine Romance

So, is Marian McPartland, best known for hosting NPR's long-running Piano Jazz, a radio personality who plays jazz well, or a pianist whose personality plays well on radio? Listen to this track, and you'll think of her first and foremost as a musician. While the occasional walking bass might imply a traditionalist, her modernist harmonies and boppish right hand dispel the allusion in Dorothy Fields's unsung lyric to "old fogies" who "need crutches." Two months shy of her 73rd birthday, Marian McPartland was spry as a kitten, and just as playful, suggesting NPR stood for Never-ending Piano Radiance.

November 20, 2007 · 0 comments

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