Meetings make music, especially songs. During the Forties and Fifties, artists were invited to perform — onstage, in numerous radio shows and on television — in a particular format that quickly attracted an immense audience: the duo. The success of these duets had producers in television, films and musicals scrambling to find personalities they could pair onstage. As for record companies, they sent a succession of their own artists into the studios… two by two. Duets became a music genre all of its own, and the duo who made probably the greatest impression were, of course, "Ella & Louis". Their performances together take up more than one side here, but they weren't the only ones to sing duets. The genre had many specialists, not only American favorites like Nat King Cole, Dean Martin or Bing Crosby, but many others less well-known outside the U.S. (Johnny Mercer, Doris Day, Pearl Bailey, Hot Lips Page etc.) whose voices combined to produce the same result: they made miracles. So here are 25 magic moments chosen from literally hundreds of vocal duets handed down to us today. They are all evidence of a most extraordinary period in jazz.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.