It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
I'm Beginning To See The Light
Just Squeeze Me
I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington the most important artists in the history of jazz and the two most influential American musicians of the 20th Century. Because of their centennials (1999 for Duke and 2000 for Louis), the... more »ir great legacy is celebrating a worldwide rennaissnce. And this month, they are the focus and the continum in Ken Burns' JAZZ, a 20-hour documentary to be broadcast on PBS. In April, 1961, these two giants got togethr in a New York studio for their only encounter. Louis brought his trumpet, voice and the all-stars with Trummy Young and Barney Bigard. Duke brought his pianistic talents and a considerable canon of great compositions. The magic that transpired over one night and the following afternoon was an historic simgularity. This disc contains all 17 master takes that made during those magical sessions, newly remixed from the original tapes with 24-bit/96kHz mastering for maximum fidelity, far superior to the previous mid-price CD issue. PERSONNEL:
Louis Armstrong (trumpet,vocals), Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Duke Ellington (piano), Mort Herbert (bass), Danny Barcelona (drums).« less
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington the most important artists in the history of jazz and the two most influential American musicians of the 20th Century. Because of their centennials (1999 for Duke and 2000 for Louis), their great legacy is celebrating a worldwide rennaissnce. And this month, they are the focus and the continum in Ken Burns' JAZZ, a 20-hour documentary to be broadcast on PBS. In April, 1961, these two giants got togethr in a New York studio for their only encounter. Louis brought his trumpet, voice and the all-stars with Trummy Young and Barney Bigard. Duke brought his pianistic talents and a considerable canon of great compositions. The magic that transpired over one night and the following afternoon was an historic simgularity. This disc contains all 17 master takes that made during those magical sessions, newly remixed from the original tapes with 24-bit/96kHz mastering for maximum fidelity, far superior to the previous mid-price CD issue. PERSONNEL:
Louis Armstrong (trumpet,vocals), Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Duke Ellington (piano), Mort Herbert (bass), Danny Barcelona (drums).
Kevin G. (kkg-ct) from NEW FAIRFIELD, CT Reviewed on 12/11/2015...
Grand Masters of a style, albeit the defining style of Jazz. Unmistakable players inasmuch that NO ONE blows like Armstrong, a clear and honest horn that echoes through the ages. Mixed with the urbane Ellington riffs, a very pleasant way to invest you listening pleasure. Highly recommend for those seeking an honest late Armstrong beyond the Hello Dolly over produced greatest hits, and Ellington could not be anything but smoooooooth.
Why isn't this CD owned by everyone in all the world?
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 04/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh, my gosh. Some dude nicknamed Duke plays piano on 17 of his own compositions. Featured is a trumpeter and singer nicknamed Satchmo, who brought along five of his band members. They recorded on two consecutive days in NYC in April, l961. They were geezers, and the record buyers were paying more attention to Miles and Coltrane and Brubeck at the time, although both old guys were still touring and pleasing audiences. Then Bob Thiele, a producer of all kinds of music, including Buddy Holly, but mainly a jazz expert, got Louis Armstrong and Mr. Ellington together at last. He couldn't get the whole Ellington Orchestra, so he compromised and got the Armstrong All-Stars as backup. The result is this total 67-minute masterpiece (and now a two-disc version as well, adding the rehearsal takes.) If you claim to love American music, buy one of these darn sets as quickly as you can. The sound is superb, the performances divine. If you don't love this, e-mail me and I'll buy your copy at a discount. But check for a heartbeat, because you may be dead and not realize it. This is the jazz pioneers' version of "Kind of Blue" in my opinion. The CD deserves much wider notice than it gets. Originally released on the small Roulette label, the album seems to have been overlooked even by Duke and Satchmo fans, which amazes me. If there are nearly 400 reviews of "Kind of Blue" posted on Amazon at this point, surely there should be 100 fans commenting on "The Great Summit.""
As good as it gets
Louis Gudema | Newton, MA USA | 04/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite jazz CD, even better than Davis's "Kind of Blue," Armstrong's "Great Chicago Concert," Artie Shaw's "Highlights from Self Portrait," Sintra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers," Ella (singing almost anything), and "The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong." Armstrong's All-Stars with Duke sitting in on piano, playing all Ellington. Great compositions with great improvisations.Just listen to the five samples Amazon.com provides. "Cottontail" opens with consecutive solos by Ellington, the great Barney Bigard, Armstrong, and trombonist Trummy Young, then later features a great scat "verse" by Armstrong. Almost every one of the cuts is as strong. This was the CD that brought clarinetist Barney Bigard to my attention. He played for years with Ellington's band, then with Armstrong's All-Stars, and I later read in Gary Giddins's "Satchmo" that Armstrong considered him the best jazz clarinetist he ever worked with. Listen to his solos on "Cottontail" (one is in the Amazon.com sample) and "Beautiful American", as well as his sparkling repartee with Armstrong on "In a Mellow Tone."Buy it and enjoy -- over and over."
The Two Masters of 20th Century Music Together
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Norman Grantz who set up these dates was always casual and a bit cheap on production for the series of great ones together records he made. Many of these Louis with Ella or the Duke or whomever were done on a day or two's notice when Louis and whomever else Granz wanted him to record with happened to be in New York in the midst of touring.
Yet, for many of the artists, Louis and the Duke included, the natural chemistry that comes with genius, and knowledge of each other's work produced something great and new and wonderful. This is certainly the case here.
What is never said here, overlooked entirely, and can be a joy to the truth jazz lover is this is Louis's Swing Album. Louis transcends jazz genre to be sure, but I know of no Louis Armstrong album that is so much of a swing album. Thus it is to be studied or enjoyed or both as a special treat
You get things here that are simply not available anywhere else. There is never enough of Ellington playing piano solid with solos like he takes here, without the band being behind his driving rhythm, his subtle inflections, his commentaries. On the other hand, there is very little of Louis playing and singing swing tunes as opposed to the New Orleans or Pop repertoire. For both Ellington and Armstrong there is hardly any other time when they are working together with an equal, perhaps only in the great Armstrong/Fitzgerald combinations, and in the live concerts with Ella that the Duke did do we find anything near an equal.
While I like Barney Bigard's work here, it really doesn't rise to the occaision the way that it sometimes did working with the Duke in the late 1930s, or some of his work with the all stars. Frankly, I think Jimmie Hamilton would have been more interesting here, helping the occaision be what it is, Louis showing he can swing too."
Fred Wemyss (Actual Name) | Huntington, NY United States | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I write this as a Louis Armstrong fan. I respect Duke Ellington, but I haven't heard nearly as much of his output as I have of Louis Armstrong's. My judgment is more about Satchmo's performance here than about Ellington's. I consider this an example of Armstrong showing a musical colleague how much he cares about all music. At this point in Armstrong's career he had committed most of his repertoire to Long-Playing vinyl. It's easy to forget that, in 1961, many of the classic 78s of the jazz era had still not been transferred to LP, and it is easy to forget that such transfers were not necessarily cleaned up for playback. This is my roundabout way of saying that, in re-recording much of his own material, Armstrong, throughout the fifties, was playing music he'd played since the twenties. He and the All-Stars, his small combo founded in the forties, were well attuned to each other and waxed some of the greatest performances of Armstrong's career, live or in the studio. But Armstrong had only been recorded with Ellington very rarely previously. I am not certain, but I think there are literally a couple of songs he and Ellington played live on the air in the late 1930s, and I wouldn't be very surprised if they played once or twice without being recorded at other times. But they'd never really sat down and worked out a set until 1961, when they were both in New York at the same time and had the opportunity. The songs on this album were not songs Armstrong played in his stage shows and he didn't make records of them. But he was not caught short here. He knew this material, either because he learned it for this project or because he'd been listening to this music for years, and he understood it. The marvelous thing is he clearly cared for it. Armstrong sets aside his personality for THE GREAT SUMMIT, or, more to the point, he set aside everybody else's expectations and interprets the lyrics in all their somber beauty. His trumpet is earnest here. His trumpet is always full-bodied, but on this project, Louis Armstrong is not, if you will, playing the showman, but expressing, through his trumpet, the music of another genius. It may be the most giving performance of his career. And that's saying a lot, given that his career is full of high peaks. I sometimes put this CD on when I go to bed at night. It sounds like New York City. There's a breeze, some laughter in the air, and cameraderie. Two musical innovators commenting on what they see, for all to hear."
An example of quality and style
Fred Wemyss (Actual Name) | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful collaboration between two of the most influencial musicians of the 20th century. If you want to learn about Jazz, this is a good CD to have. I am always knocked out when I listen to how Duke uses musical space with Armstrong's sound; it is a brilliant example of old school Jazz and a most modern musical sense of Jazz combined."