Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Oscar Peterson (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Ray Brown (bass); Louie Bellson (drums).
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of the Verve Master Edition series.
Since Louis Armstrong just about invented jazz vocals if not popular singing itself, it was inevitable (and fortunate) that someone like producer Norman Granz would set Armstrong down in the studio with a modern '50s combo like Oscar Peterson's trio and watch the seminal musician strut his stuff. Aside from the Dixieland-derived All-Stars live show, Armstrong spent most of the late '40s and early '50s singing it straight for Milt Gabler at Decca Records. Here at Verve in 1957, Satchmo finally gets to ease up a little and stretch those famous gravelly vocal chords on a collection of romantic standards. Unlike Fats Waller, Armstrong rarely undermined the message of a love song with virtuoso clowning. For instance, he provided a wonderfully romantic foil to Ella Fitzgerald on their essential duet sessions. On his own, he proves to be a rhythmically adept contemporary troubadour with such deeply melodic material as "I'll Never Be the Same," "Moon Song," and "You Go to My Head." It should be noted that the earthy Louis gets the last word on the eight-minute version of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" that closes the set.
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