This album will make you feel good whether you like it or not. The songs featured here are filled with an almost tangible feeling of energy. If you’re a fan of jazzy swing and ridiculous levels of catchyness, this is the album for you.
The record starts off with a medley of two songs: “Just A Gigolo” and “I Ain’t Got Nobody”. It’s got great rhythm, kept by the drums as well as the piano/bass combo. It’s this combo of bass and steady piano rhythm that really makes the song, and it also happens to reappear on a few other tracks later in the album. One element that really sticks out is Louis’ distinctive singing style, although it is heavily borrowed from Louis Armstrong. His singing just fits very well with the jazzy instrumentation.
Some other album highlights include the Jazz instrumental “Body and Soul”, as well as the fast, peppy call-and-response song “Oh Marie”. The album ends with the almost bizarrely out of place “(I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead) You Rascal You”, an almost comedically callous and cold song about, well, being really happy that someone’s dead. All with the same cheery, upbeat instrumentation as the rest of the album, to top it all off. Strangely, it kind of works. It’s a good song, and it still seems to fit with the rest of the record despite it’s dissonant lyrical subject.
Simply put, I enjoyed the crap out of this album. It’s got great, catchy songs, great vocal delivery, and is just the right length to top it off, at just over thirty minutes long. I would highly recommend that you listen to it, you might just find yourself enjoying the crap out of it as well.
Next Up: Ellington At Newport 1956 by Duke Ellington (1956)