Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
An Evening With Louis Armstrong At The Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Jazz novice offers his take
Greg Brady | Capital City | 03/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm only just beginning to delve into jazz, so I won't offer opinions as to whether renditions of "Sleepy Time Down South" and other are among Armstrong's finest Armstrong versions..I simply don't have the background to objectively offer those.
I won't attempt to "rank" this recording in the Armstrong canon either.What I can do is offer my feelings as to what I like...and don't...on this recording. You can use the samples above to decide if I'm all wet.
The sound is very good and clear for this 1956 recording (NOT 1951 as Amazon says...you can tell from the photos included in the booklet of the 1956 All-stars) comprising vocalist Velma Middleton, clarinetist Edmund Hall, bassist Arvell Shaw, and trombonist Trummy Young. The jewel case also states that Barrett Deems is heard on drums and Billy Kyle on piano, in addition to Louis himself, though Kyle and Deems aren't pictured.
Oddly enough on much of this CD I didn't get the sense of a spotlight on Armstrong...it seemed as if he intended to blend into the ensemble and let his associates shine instead.
Tracks I most enjoyed are "Ole Miss", with extensive soloin by all the band members and a false ending, a loose version of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" where Edmund Hall makes a vocal cameo, Edmund hall does some wonderfully subtle work in "Dardanella" at the coda, and a funny and sexy duet with Middleton and Louis on "That's My Desire" (which could teach some modern day rap/R&B performers a thing or two. A well placed wink is often more explicit than a blow-by-blow descriton).
I didn't care as much for "Tin Roof Blues" (which sounds as though Kyle muffed the intro) or "Indiana". Neither of those numbers really pulled me in.
Additional pluses are some nice period photos in the liners of Louis' birthplace, at age 12 in the "Colored Waif's Home Brass Band" (it's grainy but I'm pretty sure that's Louis directly over the bandleader's head to the left..), shots of the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band circa 1922, some movie stills, postage stamps Armstrong appeared on in foreign countries, and an absolutely amazing cake he received for his 70th birthday (Hoagy Carmichael is seen with him).
An additional note: My copy contains the traditional "Didn't He Ramble?" as cut 16, but it's not listed in the Amazon entry. Howver, what happens on disc is that the reprise of "Sleepy Time Down South" (the one with Louis scatting) segues into "Didn't He Ramble?" with Teddy Buckner's band joining in at the end. Track 16 includes Buckner..so it may be that later represses of the disc (mine has a 1977 copyright on GNP Crescendo) made all of that one track.
3 1/2 stars"
Great Armstrong concert from the 1950's!!!!
Michael R. Lachance | Maine, USA | 01/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Add this gem to your collection ASAP. A great concert recording from 1956, recorded at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Players include, Louis Armstrong, Trummy Young, Edmund Hal, Billy Kaye, Arvell Shaw, Barrett Deems and Velma Middleton. Great Satchmo standards, and even greater showmanship by the All-Stars. If you need a fix of good ole down the river jazz then this is your medicine. Very good HI-Fi quality vintage recording for the period, especially for a concert recording! Includes 16 tracks to keep you entertained for well over an hour. Great stuff, great performances and great music from 'Pops' and his players!!!"