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Louis Armstrong: Pops Is Tops. The Verve Studio Albums.

Maurizio Zerbo By

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Grazie alla nuova storiografia del jazz, sono ormai caduti i vecchi e fuorvianti clichès sulla produzione discografica di Armstrong negli anni Cinquanta e Sessanta. Ingiustamente relegati, fino a qualche decennio fa, nell'alveo dell'intrattenimento commerciale e nel degradato processo di sclerotizzazione esecutiva del geniale trombettista, i dischi qui recensiti risalgono al 1957 e sono l'esito di una intatta e brillante cifra esecutiva, sia al canto che alla tromba. Come dimostrano le illuminanti alternatives takes, "il padre del jazz" svetta per la mirabile capacità di realizzare diverse interpretazioni con sfumature e soluzioni diverse.

È percepibile la voglia di non sclerotizzarsi entro le forme chiuse e classiche delle canzoni, ricorrendo a spostamento o elisione di note in forme nuove secondo un procedimento oggi classico, imprescindibile nell'ambito dell'espressività jazzistica contemporanea. L'elegante orchestra di archi guidata da Russsell Garcia ben si completa con il leader, mettendone maggiormente in risalto la voce divenuta fascinosamente arrochita e in maggior equilibrio con la sua tromba. Il genio, prossimo ai sessanta anni di età, compensava il logoramento del registro acuto della voce con una dizione più precisa e maggior empatia rispetto al testo.

Ed anche l'incontro con il quintetto swingante guidato da Oscar Peterson fa svettare Armstrong come ineguagliabile maestro del jazz mainstream. Il cofanetto presenta momenti di grande intensità, che rendono questi quattro album ufficiali qui riuniti (I've Got the World on a String, Louis Under the Stars, Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson, A Day with Satchmo) importanti documenti per ricostruire la finale anatomia artistica di Louis. I collezionisti potranno apprezzare di questa succulenta riedizione le versioni in mono e stereo e le originali note di copertina.

Track Listing: CD 1. When Your Lover Has Gone; You're the Top; You Turned the Tables on Me (Mono Version); Don't Get Around Much Anymore; Little Girl Blue; Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen; We'll Be Together Again; I've Got the World on a String; Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me; I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues; You Turned the Tables on Me; Little Girl Blue; You Turned the Tables on Me; You Turned the Tables on Me (Partial / Alternate Take 3); You Turned the Tables on Me (Edit Inserts); I've Got the World on a String (False Starts / Alternate Take 2); I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (False Starts Breakdown / Takes 2 & 3); I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Alternate Take 2; 3); I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (Take 4).

CD 2. Top Hat; White Tie; and Tails; Have You Met Miss Jones?; I Only Have Eyes for You; Stormy Weather; Home (Album Version); East of the Sun (West of the Moon) (Mono Version); You're Blasé; Body and Soul (Mono Version); East of the Sun (West of the Moon); Body and Soul (Stereo Version); Stormy Weather (Breakdown / Alternate Edit); Stormy Weather (Alternate Take 3); Stormy Weather (Breakdown 4); Stormy Weather (Edit Inserts).

CD3. That Old Feeling (Album Version); Let's Fall in Love; I'll Never Be the Same (Album Version); Blues in the Night (Album Version); How Long Has This Been Going On?; I Was Doing All Right (Album Version); What's New? (Album Version); Moon Song; Just One of Those Things (Album Version); there's No You (Album Version); You Go to My Head; Sweet Lorraine (Album Version); Blues in the Night (Rehearsal Take); Let's Fall in Love (Take 1); Let's Fall in Love (Take 2); Indiana (Studio Warm-up).

CD 4. Makin' Whoopee (Breakdown); Makin' Whoopee (Take 1); Makin' Whoopee (Take 2 / Complete Alternate Take); Makin' Whoopee (Take 3 / False Start); Makin' Whoopee; I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 1 Reindexed); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 3 Reindexed); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 4 Reindexed); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 5 / False Start); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 6 / False Start); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 7 / False Start); I Get a Kick Out of You (Album Version); I Get a Kick Out of You (Takes 9 & 12); I Get a Kick Out of You (Take 13); Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) (Breakdowns Including Warm-up; Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) (Take 3); Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love); Willow Weep for Me (Take 1); Willow Weep for Me (Take 2 / Complete Alternate Take); Willow Weep for Me (Take 3 / Long False Start); Willow Weep for Me (Take 4); Willow Weep for Me (Take 5 / False Start); Willow Weep for Me (Take 6 / False Start); Willow Weep for Me.

Personnel: CD 1-2: Louis Armstrong: trumpet, voice; Russell Garcia Orchestra. CD 3-4: Louis Armstrong: trumpet, voice; Oscar Peterson: piano; Ray Brown: bass; Herb Ellis: guitar; Louie Bellson: drums.

Title: Pops Is Tops. The Verve Studio Albums. | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Verve international

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