I was just starting to listen to more jazz/swing music. I was already an Ella Fitzgerald fan, and I heard about the song “Our Love is Here to Stay.” I looked it up, and found Ella’s duet with Louis Armstrong. Ella’s voice has that warm quality that makes you want to follow her around listening to her sing, and yet it’s pure. Her voice sounds polished and flawless, and contrasts beautifully with Louis’s rough voice. When I heard their harmony for the first time “Our Love is Here to Stay,” I practically swooned. I promptly sent it to my music buddies, and then listened to it many more times. After that, I downloaded their album Tenderly.
One of the attractive parts of the album is their energy together. Ella and Louis don’t sound like they are forcing chemistry or are bored; they sound like old friends enjoying jazz together. Even the song “Can’t We Be Friends,” which is about two people stuck in the friend-zone, has so much energy that I wanted to hear it repeatedly.
They have energy, and the songs are groovy. I love sitting and listening to this album, but it was made for moving. As I’m writing at our kitchen table, I can’t stop myself from dancing a bit.
Before I heard Tenderly, I thought of jazz as either too hard for me to play (like some of Fred Astaire’s brilliant pieces), or cluttered and obnoxious (like some modern “jazz” artists). I found in Tenderly music that is both playable and pleasant, and I was inspired. I’m sill not a jazz pianist, but Ella and Louis gave me the inspiration to try it.
If you’re interested in hearing Tenderly on Amazon, go here.