"Ella & Louis" was the first of the albums pairing Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald produced by Norman Granz. The LP was a huge hit upon its release, and has only grown in popularity over the years. “Ella & Louis is one of the very, very few albums to have been issued in this era of the LP flood that is sure to endure for decades”, wrote Nat Hentoff in his Down Beat review, in which he gave the LP a rating of five stars. “Ella, to start with, is superb,” he added. “There is a purity of style (with no loss of warmth) in her singing here that results in not the slightest furbelow.
Everything fits and flows with a pulsating inevitability, a clarity and wholeness of sound, and a supple mastery of phrasing that should make this album daily listening for all aspiring female singers. Louis can breathe himself into full stature again. He reminds any who have forgotten that he is the nonpareil male jazz singer. As a result of the fact that he hasn’t sung many of these songs for years, the challenge awakens the whole musician in Louis; and because the melodies and lyrics are fresh to him, there are no pat routines for him to fall into. Hearing him here is a joy; and hearing him interweave horn and voice with Ella is often euphoria. The rhythm accompaniment by Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis and Buddy Rich is firm, tasteful, discreet. This is a major achievement in recorded jazz.”