24-bit remastered French exclusive compilation is packaged in a well designed digipak. 24 tracks performed by Louis Armstrong with various ensembles, His Hot Five, His Hot Seven, His Orchestra, Savoy Ballroom Five & others.
Culled from fairly representative 1959 live recordings of two different versions of Satchmo's All Stars band, SINGIN' AND PLAYIN' suffers from poor sound quality. As always, however, Armstrong's joy and exuberance manage to shine through. The first three tracks are from the excellent Trummy Young/Billy Kyle version of the All Stars, arguably the band best matched to Armstrong's unique combination of serious jazz and comedic routines. Listeners interested in this lineup, however, would do well to also pick up the sublime MACK THE KNIFE or THE GREAT CHICAGO CONCERT 1956. The remaining seven tracks feature an altogether different All Stars which included vibraphonist Tyree Glenn and clarinetist Marty Napoleon.
Nat Hentoff prefaced his 1956 down beat review of Verve's first Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong collaboration with a prediction: "Ella and 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." Today, those sublime performances, along with two subsequent Norman Granz-produced Fitzgerald-Armstrong albums, are regarded as milestones of American music. A dozen gems from these works are presented here.
The Louis Armstrong Hot Five and Hot Seven Sessions were recorded between 1925 and 1928 by Louis Armstrong with his Hot Five and Hot Seven groups. According to the National Recording Registry, "Louis Armstrong was jazz's first great soloist and is among American music's most important and influential figures. These sessions, his solos in particular, set a standard musicians still strive to equal in their beauty and innovation." These recordings were added to the National Recording Registry in 2002, the first year of the institution's existence.
Satchmo at Pasadena provides an enjoyable but incomplete presentation of Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars recorded live on January 1, 1951. The Pasadena Civic Auditorium concert found Armstrong fronting an edition of the All-Stars with trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Barney Bigard, pianist Earl Hines, bassist Arvell Shaw, Cozy Cole on drums, and vocalist Velma Middleton on two tracks. At the time of this concert, musicians began to take advantage of the new LP format that allowed them to bypass the usual three-minute time constraints of 78 rpm and stretch out a bit. Armstrong was no exception, and even though Satchmo is more of the ringleader/vocalist/showman on this set…