Here is an instruction manual for singers. Phrasing, intonation, breath control, taste, musicianship, restraint, humor; it's all here. What with "jazz singing" wandering all over the lot as the century staggers to a close, let's hope that The Complete (what dimensions that phrase has in this context) Ella and Louis will be used for serious course work, and not just by beginners. The package contains everything from the LPs Ella & Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess, plus two tracks of Fitzgerald sitting in with Armstrong's band at the Hollywood Bowl. The contrast between her polished perfection and his rough perfection is delicious. Armstrong's trumpet playing, nearing its last full burst of glory, is as moving as his voice.The songs are by the cream of American song writers, including Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Arlen, Ronnell, Duke and Kern. They have never been sung better.
The complete recorded output, on a 3CD Deluxe Boxed Edition, by Louis Armstrong and The Dukes Of Dixieland - for the first time ever in a single collection. This collection contains both the master takes and all the alternates. Half of this music appears here on CD for the first time ever. These original LPs “The Definitive Album by Louis Armstrong” (1959) and “Louis and the Dukes of Dixieland” (1960) were among the first stereo recordings to fully capture Louis’ magic sound. His trumpet playing & vocals were as fine as ever - on classic songs that weren’t part of his usual repertoire, such as “Dixie”, “New Orleans” and “Sweet Georgia Brown”, which he had never previously recorded.
On December 3, 1963, at age 62, when most folks are thinking about retirement, Louis Armstrong recorded the sprightly "Hello, Dolly!," the title song for a Broadway show. Thus began a six year-long series of recordings that brought arguably most important 20th Century musician back into the limelight and, in fact, gave him his greatest recording successes ever.
This 10-CD set is as good a compendium of the genius of Louis Armstrong as anyone could wish for. It’s all here: the early years with the King Oliver and Fletcher Henderson bands, the glorious period of the Hot Fives and Sevens, the big band recordings of the Thirties, the collaborations with contemporaries such as Ella Fitzgerald. Then there are the later recordings, when Satchmo’s celebrity empowered him to soar over many political and racial divides. There’s also a fascinating unreleased Hollywood Bowl concert from 1956, a CD of “out-takes” from recording sessions, and a revealing interview with Dan Morgenstern.
Louis Armstrong's tenure as second cornetist to the great King Oliver is one of jazz history's legendary apprenticeships, on par with the one Miles Davis served with Charlie Parker or Stephane Grappelli's with Django Reinhardt. Sadly, only a handful of recordings survive from this formative period in Armstrong's career. This LP features 18 of King Oliver's 1923 recordings with Armstrong, as well as a bonus appendix consisting of seven tracks recorded in 1924 by the Red Onion Jazz Babies under Armstrong's sole leadership (and featuring, on one number, a very young Alberta Hunter). The performances are as red-hot as you'd expect, and include two King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton duets.