Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
A MUST HAVE!! THIS AND THE JSP HOT 5&7 IS ALL YOU NEED!!!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a large jazz collection and own numerous Louis Armstrong CDs, and I was recently so delighted to acquire this set that it inspired me to write my only first review on this website despite being a longtime browser.The JSP "Hot Fives and Sevens" set is of course the greatest, but for MUCH BETTER sound quality AND an amazingly truthful glimpse of Armstrong's stage presence, you MUST get this. He and his All-Stars play with unbelievable energy and fullness, and it is fascinating to hear his spoken introductions of the various tunes --it will bring a smile to your face to hear someone who sounds so happy about life.There are 2 concerts included: 1951 large-audience gig across 1 and half CDs, and 1955 small-club gig across the remaining 2 and half CDs. The latter in particular is astonishingly fresh, lively, and in glorious sound--Armstrong's trumpet sounds particularly burnished. This is a broad mix of song styles which will sustain your interest over the many CDs, but it is renditions of classics like Basin Street Blues, Twelfth Street Rag, and Muskrat Ramble which I love most. His trumpet and vocal technique is perfect and is played with pure joy.While the JSP set will always remain dear to me (eventhough the limited sound requires imagination, concentration, and tolerance), the California Concerts set may be overall the IDEAL Armstrong CD in that it combines perfect technique and musicality in the New Orleans idiom that is his own, live performance adding energy and witness to his incredible persona, great songlist and superb sound engineering. I delayed getting this because of its price, but I now realize that the only CDs one really needs of Louis are the JSP set and this one. Trust me, you'll play it over and over again!"
Outstanding live performances by Satch.A must to have!!!
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 05/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This superb 4 CD set is a must for every jazz lover.Fifty six tunes recorded in two different live settings: the first 18 tunes were recorded at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium,January 30,1951,and the next 41 tunes at the Crescendo Club,Hollywood,January 21,1955.Ol' Satch is in top form in these concerts,and brings you sometimes into some unusual repertoire.
The Pasadena concert will let you listen to an amazing group,composed of Louis,the magnificent Jack Teagarden on trombone and vocals,the somptuous ex-Ellingtonian clarinet player,Barney Bigard,the greatest of all jazz piano players (yes indeed,he's my man),Earl Hines,the implacable drummer,the immense Cozy Cole,the young but talented Arvell Shaw on bass,who died a few months ago,and Velma Middleton on vocals.Here are some very great moments of music: "Back o'town blues",with some impressive trumpet parts and vocals by Louis,and marvelous playing by Bigard and Tea;maybe this version doesn't reach the unsurpassed level of the Town Hall concert,but gee!!! how does it swing!!! "Bugle blues",or "Bugle call rag",a showpiece for Cozy Cole;a beautiful composition by Louis,"Someday" ;Hines' "my Monday date" and "you can depend on me";and good vocal efforts by Miss Middleton on "Big daddy blues" and "Baby it's cold outside";this very big girl could really sing and swing,even if some "critics" think she was unable to.
The next concert,recorded four years later,will let you listen by Satch in a more relaxed setting,a club performance,with Bigard,Shaw,Trummy Young on trombone,Billy Kyle on piano (a Hnies' disciple),and Barrett Deems on drums,and honest drums player,but who surely couldn't revalize with Cozy Cole.Indeed,he does a rather correct job here.Louis swings into some unusual tunes,like "me and brother Bill",a tune he recorded only once,some twenty years before,or "when you're smiling" (even if this tune was one of his hits since the early thirties,he rarely played it),or the Louis Jordan-like "t'ain't what you do",the rare Cole Porter's tune,"don't fence me in",the memories of the old roaring twenties,"struttin' with some barbecue" (meaning something like "walking with a nice girl"), and "big butter and egg man",and the superb "old man Mose",recorded only once at the end of the thirties.
The relaxed mood of this club setting seems to give more freedom to Satch;this fifty five old man ,full of glory ,the n°1 musician of the 20th century feels free to swing like he rarely did on stage at this time.Listen to his background trumpet behind Velma Middleton's vocals on "don't fence me in";(and I still say that this lady CAN SWING,the proof is here).Listen to his incredibly relaxed vocal on the same piece;listen to the gospel medley,"Shadrack/When the saints...",prefiguring the imperial "Goodbook" sessions,here are some very swinging moments.And how difficult it must have been,even fifty years ago,to make a tune like "when the saints" swing!!!
Here is another version of the very great "back o'town blues",a real jewell in the history of jazz;still not the greatest (the Town Hall version),and Teagarden isn't here,but a very great moment of trumpet playing,and a very great moment of singing.Seems to me like Armstrong was the freer of all jazz players,from Joplin to Ayler.I mean,he invented everything between 1923 and 1930,and nobody could go farther than him.No one player,as talented as he was,or is,could surpass Louis or Duke.They did everything before anyone.The two versions of "Old man Mose" are terrific moments of swing: this is surprising that Armstrong played again this tune (he only recorded it once at the end of the thirties).This here is really swing!!!
Now,let's summ up: if you're ready to buy your first record by Armstrong,start with "Louis Armstrong plays W.C.Handy",or the "Hot Five and Hot Sevens",or "Satch play Fats";but if you already own one of these,jump to this one,here are some marvels you won't suspect.This four CD set is a real treasure!!!"
2 Great Shows In It's Relative Completion..
Original Mixed Up-Kid | New York United States | 01/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"4 Cd's live of Satchmo in the 1950's..these two shows were great ones if you like Armstrong..These Cd's are for collectors considering the price(snap it up for the 20 dollars or so if you can)and is a good way to concretize the image one has of Satchmo as that smiling happy rascal..But, the fact is more complex and I partially disagree with an earlier reviewer that this and the Hot Fives and Sevens are all you need in regard to this historical enjoyable icon...my sympathies are more in accord with the reviewer below..In any event these shows are a collectors dream and showcases this period of Satcmo in a more jocular vein.
Indeed these are solid shows with great musicians and is a springboard to greater appreciation and love of this man's music.
The period here includes his All Stars of 1951 with Earl Hines, Jack Teargarden,Barney Bigard and Velma Middleton his female vocalist.
The 2nd performance of these all-stars of 1955, includes Tommy Young,and Billy Kyle..gone were Teargarden and Hines..in any event,these shows both shine with care and precision as to the sound, producers notes and placing it into the historical perspective it deserves.