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This review is from: Ella & Louis Again (Audio CD)
Seriously, while Ella often neaded great musical company to really shine (Satchmo, Basie, Peterson...), Satchmo was great even in mediocre company, but one can say that he sounded even better than usual when both Ella and Oscar were presentt...
This album is top class, but there is a track that deserves to enter the all-time jazz classical list of recordings:
"Stompin' at the Savoy", allegedly taped accindentaly, during an exercise, proved to be an improvisation extravaganza above all songs on this and most songs on all other albums.
Ella stars swinging gently, accompanied by the rhythm section (Oscar's rhythmic abbilities are well known and here he is joined by Herb Ellis and Ray Brown, his great trio buddies, plus dynamic Louis Bellson on drums, also an old pal).
Satchmo's trumpet stepps in after her introduction, but the fire is only starting at this point. It is the last third of the song when the things really explode, proving old Pops to be the greatest singer in jazz - Satchmo lets loose all his improvisational powers and Ella sounds at her best when propelled and liberated by his energy.
Other musicians listen them closely and give them space for their original performance, boosting it with appropriate rhythmical accents (pling, bing, ka-boom).
This is and always will be the essence of jazz; one of my favorite moments is when Satchmo starts a chorus singing outside the constrictions of the tune: "When we was in Atlantic City..." but then stops "Noo, we weren't talking about that"; after that he returns to the tune splitting with laughter. He not only laughs, he grumbles, roars and ad libs in a way only the best can (actually, very very few besides him) and Ella's scat singing finds perfect context here.
Other great songs and performances of this album are Don't be that way, Autumn in New York, A fine romance, Love is here to stay, I wan't dance...