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Satchmo the Great
Louis Armstrong
Satchmo the Great
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

Drawn from the 1956 film devoted to Armstrong's life and music, this CD includes recordings from his world travels of 1955-56, as well as excerpts from an interview with narrator Edward R. Murrow. It's a fascinating docume...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Louis Armstrong
Title: Satchmo the Great
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 6/27/2000
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Live
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: New Orleans Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Dixieland, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646217023

Drawn from the 1956 film devoted to Armstrong's life and music, this CD includes recordings from his world travels of 1955-56, as well as excerpts from an interview with narrator Edward R. Murrow. It's a fascinating document, in part, of course, for Armstrong's still wondrous abilities and unique personality, but also for the way in which it presents him in the context of the 1950s. He recalls his most enduring memories of fellow musicians, and there are some sparkling performances with the All-Stars, ranging from ancient New Orleans themes to his unique treatment of "Mack the Knife." Perhaps most striking, though, is a 12-minute version of "St. Louis Blues," rendered as a concerto grosso at New York's Lewisohn Stadium with Leonard Bernstein conducting an 88-piece orchestra. It's a telling symbol, if one were needed, of how far Armstrong and jazz had traveled from his boyhood. What's remarkable, though, is that his musical genius could still sparkle amid the pretensions to high culture. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

The Greatest!
Linda J. Manson | Mechanicsville, MD United States | 03/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard this montage on vinyl, probably 40 years ago, and being a teenager at the time, was prepared to immediately dismiss it; instead,I became infatuated with Satchmo's sounds, especially the New Orleans Funeral Music. Narrated by the inimitable Edward R. Murrow, it is one of the finest, if not the finest, collections of the sounds of Louis Armstrong, complete with Mack the Knife! This recording is as fine a lesson as a music lover could ask for; along with the musical tracks, the narration gives a feel for the history of the music which Louis Armstrong represents; the blues, jazz, spirituals, along with the deeply moving refrains sung by the slaves in the fields, moving and working to the rhythym of the only thing they owned, their music. Louis does that music proud, and the listener is transported from the modern day hustle and bustle to a time that was different...the formative years of our country and it's wonderful musical heritage. Thank you, Mr. Armstrong."
Greatest Armstrong Recording
C. L. Lamon | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 03/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a great fan of Louis Armstrong. This is my all-time favourite recording because it contains very interesting interviews by Edward R. Murrow; the All-Stars are at their best in live concerts including a concert with a symphony orchestra; and it shows the human side of this great man. It is from the soundtrack of the film "Satchmo the Great" released through United Artists and produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly. I would very much like to purchase a copy of this film. Any help anyone can give me would be very much appreciated."
Excellent and charming jazz classics
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Basically, this extended sound track of a TV documentary contains some high-spirited Satchmo's All Stars performances, from the time he was still very much in his prime (1955-6), aided by exuberant Trummy Young on trombone, passionate Ed Hall on the clarinet, swinging Billy Kyle on piano, with reliable Arwell Shaw on bass and Barett Deems on drums...

The interviews and comments interspersed between the songs are unobtrusive and generally charming, so the only fault of this CD (that expands the program of the original vynil with few additional hot performances) is the "symphonic" performance of "St. Louis Blues" that really takes off only when ole satchelmouth takes the lead. But even that is not insulting; if you look at it as a cultural tribute to Armstorng and W. C. Handy (who was in the audience for the occasion) you will hardly notice it as a distraction. It is nowhere near the horrible "operatic" rendition of "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans" from the old New Orleans flick that had Satchmo and Billie Holiday in the supporting cast.

Great dixielandish jazz dominates this cd."