The first full-length collaboration between Ella and Louis turned out just as sublime as one would imagine. Recorded in 1956, this historic LP finds them serenading each other with Cheek to Cheek; Isn't This a Lovely Day?; Can't We Be Friends?; Moonlight in Vermont; Tenderly , and more.
What we have here is the mating of honey and molasses. Or is it the sound of melted butter over gravel? Never mind--sweeter, more joyous music has never been recorded (although the follow-up, Ella and Louis Again
, may be even better). You can't listen to these two without smiling. It's such an inevitable pairing that you wonder what titanic forces of nature could have kept Ella and Satchmo apart until they made this record together in 1957, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson trio and Buddy Rich on drums. The songs are standards--extraordinary
standards, of course, like "Moonlight in Vermont" and "A Foggy Day"--but nirvana is reached on "Cheek to Cheek." Heaven. --Jim Emerson