All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
This compilation of vocals by the legendary Louis Armstrong spans the years 1929 (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”) to 1967 (“Cabaret”) and shows, more than anything else, that only the instrumental backing changed while Louis remained essentially the same from his earliest years to the end of his long and storied career. Considering the many sources from which the material came, the sound reproduction is quite remarkable, especially on “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” which sounds nothing like a recording that was made and released in 1929 (could the booklet’s information be in error?). There’s one duet, “Long Gone John from Bowlin’ Green,” recorded in 1954 with an unnamed female vocalist, and one instrumental, “Twelfth Street Rag,” recorded in concert in January ’56 for an enthusiastic audience in Milan, Italy. “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” which closes the album, is from another concert date, this one in Chicago in June ’56. What always fascinated me most about Armstrong was his remarkable vocal range; for someone who didn’t seem to have much of a voice to work with, he never missed a note, no matter how far he was required to reach. The album opens with one of Armstrong’s biggest hits, “Mack the Knife,” from 1955, and includes another, “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” released (it says here) in 1931, but as with “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” sounding notably clear and blemish–free for a tune recorded seventy years ago. Kudos to those who cleaned up the source material, whoever they were — and to those who supervised the compilation for including such gems as “I’m Crazy About My Baby,” “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now,” “The Memphis Blues,” “When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along” and “I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling” along with the songs already mentioned. A thoroughly engaging package with wonderful singing (and trumpet–playing) by one of the seminal pathfinders in Jazz.
Contact:North Star Records, 22 London St., East Greenwich, RI 02818.
Track Listing: Mack the Knife; Keepin
Personnel: Louis Armstrong, trumpet, vocals, with various groups including his All
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song. He captured everyone's attention and got us all up on our feet dancing alongside him to this incredible music we call jazz.