Two of Barry Goldberg's best albums from the late '60s, Reunion and Two Jews Blues, are combined on this single disc. There's some very hot playing on these two albums, particularly from Mike Bloomfield on Two Jews Blues, but they sound a little dated and don't quite burn as hot as some blues-rock albums from the late '60s. Nevertheless, this does capture Goldberg's two best records, which makes it both a good summary of his peak and a good introduction to his sound.
The title of this compilation is a bit misleading, as Louis Armstrong only appears on seven of the CD's 20 tracks. All of them were recorded during a visit by the trumpeter to France in 1934 and were made on the sly, since he was under an exclusive contract to another label. The all-stars were primarily European musicians assembled for the session, though pianist Herman Chittison, a fellow American, makes his mark in "Super Tiger Rag," along with the leader's crisp, high-note solo. They compare favorably with some of Armstrong's later work back home with larger orchestras, but for the most part, the music is of minimal interest aside from his contributions…
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.
Alpha Productions' Jean-Marie Leclair: Le Tombeau features the chamber group Les Folies Françoises under the direction of violinist Patrick Cohën-Akenine in a chamber overture from Op. 13, three sonatas from Op. 5, and the Concerto in G minor, Op. 10/6, by the ill-fated Leclair. In the concerto, Les Folies Françoises is filled out into a small orchestra whimsically referred to as the Orchestre des Folies Françoises, an appellation that can be translated as "the orchestra of French madmen," although that is probably not what they had in mind.