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MASTERS OF JAZZ

Louis Armstrong

1926-1968: The Essential Works

    Louis Armstrong is one of the most important jazz musicians. He belongs to those who transformed the local music scene born in the Southern States of the United States - around New Orleans - into an international language.

    It was in the 1920s, in Chicago, that he recorded his first records with His Hot Five and His Hot Seven. His personality and his natural enthusiasm, combined with his talent as a trumpet player and singer, helped him pave his way to success.

    He traveled the United States with his orchestra throughout the 1930s and the 1940s, and appeared on television sets from all around the world throughout the 1950s and the 1960s. In five decades, Armstrong's music had evolved into jazz music, then known as a familiar universal language, popular on five continents.

    The four sides of this double album revive the history of jazz, from "Muskrat Ramble" to "Hello Dolly".

    Nina Simone

    1957-1962: The Essential Works

      Nina Simone was an exceptional artist. She was gifted with a precocious talent and she played music at home and in church. Nina originally counted on becoming the first black female classical pianist ; her plans were thwarted and that frustration no doubt permeated almost her entire career. Yet she became a diva capable of combining the jazz world with those of the classics and soul, and among other titles she recorded are some of the most vibrant and moving performances of Wild is the Wind or You Can Have Him, I don’t Want Him.

      She was one of the greatest artists of her time, and her fervour and rigorous demands concerning the quality of her music took her to the highest summits, whether in her compositions or in her vocal and piano performances. For all that, she never forgot her condition as a black woman in the America of the Sixties, and her active commitment to defending the rights of the black minority was exemplary - and at times even excessive, for which she was often reproached.

      She has left us some of the most beautiful chapters in jazz and soul music, among them the 23 titles that appear in this album.


      Ella is the most celebrated of divas, and she dominated the jazz scene for over fifty years, from her first hit A-Tisket, A-Tasket in 1938 to her gradual retirement from the stage in 1989 due to illness. She left her signature on every jazz universe to which she contributed. The Essential Works 1956-1959 throw light on her talents as a performer of the greatest standards, with songs written by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Rodgers & Hart. Ella succeeded in making popular melodies her own, most often songs taken from musicals that she transformed into as many pearls of vocal jazz. The four sides of this album bring together the indispensable inner soul of Ella Fitzgerald's recorded work.


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