Louis Armstrong – The Best Of (1977)

FrontCover1Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed “Satchmo”, “Satch”, and “Pops”, was an American trumpeter and vocalist. He is among the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades and different eras in the history of jazz.

Armstrong was born and raised in New Orleans. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an inventive trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. Around 1922, he followed his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to Chicago to play in the Creole Jazz Band [fr]. In Chicago, he spent time with other popular jazz musicians, reconnecting with his friend Bix Beiderbecke and spending time with Hoagy Carmichael and Lil Hardin.


He earned a reputation at “cutting contests” and his fame reached band leader Fletcher Henderson. Henderson persuaded Armstrong to come to New York City, where he became a featured and musically influential band soloist and recording artist. Hardin became Armstrong’s second wife and they returned to Chicago to play together and then he began to form his own “Hot” jazz bands. After years of touring, he settled in Queens, and by the 1950s, he was a national musical icon, assisted in part, by his appearances on radio and in film and television, in addition to his concerts.


With his instantly recognizable rich, gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer and skillful improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song. He was also skilled at scat singing. Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice as well as his trumpet playing. By the end of Armstrong’s life, his influence had spread to popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first popular African-American entertainers to “cross over” to wide popularity with white (and international) audiences. He rarely publicly politicized his race, to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. He was able to access the upper echelons of American society at a time when this was difficult for black men.

Louis Armstrong.jpg

Armstrong appeared in films such as High Society (1956) alongside Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra, and Hello, Dolly! (1969) starring Barbra Streisand. He received many accolades including three Grammy Award nominations and a win for his vocal performance of Hello, Dolly! in 1964. In 2017, he was posthumously inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. (wikipedia)


And here´s a pretty good low budget compilation with a lot of his classic tunes  (many of them are live recordings !)

Enjoy the roots of Jazz !


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
many, many studio musicians


01. Cabaret (Ebb/Kander) 3.11
02. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Razaf/Waller/Brooks) 4.03
03. Twelfth Street Rag (Bowman) 5.01
04. A Theme From The Threepenny Opera (Mack The Knife) (Blitzstein/Brecht/Weill) 3.22
05. Body And Soul (Heyman7Sour/Green) 3.18
06. Indiana (MacDonald/Hanley) 3.52
07. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 3.04
08. Dardanella (Bernard/Black) 2.49
09. Undecided (Robin/Shavers) 3.34
10. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf/Waller) 2.58
11. Basin Street Blues (Williams) 5.39
12. Tiger Rag (Original Dixie Jazz Band) 3.35
13. When It’s Sleepytime Down South (L.Rene/O.Rene) 3.25
14. All Of Me (Simons/Marks) 3.57
15. Muskrat Ramble (Ory) 5.47



The backcover from a CD reissue (1988):
BackCover1More from Louis Armstronng:


Louis Armstrong – I Will Wait For You (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgLouis Armstrong (1901–1971), nicknamed Satchmo[1] or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz and in all of American popular music. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing.

Renowned his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was extremely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society which were highly restricted for black men of his era. (by wikipedia)


Recorded late in Louis Armstrong’s life, this obscure LP finds his All-Stars of the period (which included trombonist Tyree Glenn and clarinetist Joe Muranyi) joined by several studio musicians and a choir, arranged and conducted by Dick Jacobs. At this point in time, Armstrong’s trumpet solos were quite brief and basic, although usually effective. The emphasis throughout is on his vocalizing, mostly on then-current show tunes such as “Talk to the Animals” (from Doctor Dolittle), “Willkommen” (from Cabaret) and “Sunrise, Sunset.” The choir weighs down the music; the extra musicians (which often include a banjo) water down the sound of the All-Stars; and the material is largely forgettable. Only the charm of Louis Armstrong makes this long-out-of-print album worthwhile. (by Scott Yanow)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Danny Barcelona  (drums)
Everett Barksdale (guitar)
Buddy Catlett (bass)
Joe Muranyi  (clarinet)
Marty Napoleon (piano)
Jimmy Notthingham (trumpet)
Art Ryerson (banjo)
Tyree Glenn (trombone)
unknown choir

AlternateFrontCover1Alternate frontcover

01. I Will Wait For You (Legrand/Gimbel/Demy) 3.17
02. Talk To The Animals (Bricusse) 4.18
03. The Gypsy In My Soul (Boland/Jaffe) 2.51
04. The Happy Time (Kander/Ebb) 2.25
05. I Believe (Drake/Shirl/Graham) 3.23
06. Wilkommen (Kander/Ebb) 2.53
07. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 2.50
08. Sunrise, Sunset (Bock/Hornick) 2.57
09. Rosie (Mercer/Warren) 2.52
10. That’s My Desire (Kresa/Loveday) 2.58




Louis Armstrong.jpg
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)

Louis Armstrong And His All Stars – En Concert Avec Europe 1. Olympia 24 Avril 1962 (1992)

FrontCover1.jpgBy the 1950s, Armstrong was a widely beloved American icon and cultural ambassador who commanded an international fanbase. However, a growing generation gap became apparent between him and the young jazz musicians who emerged in the postwar era such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Sonny Rollins. The postwar generation regarded their music as abstract art and considered Armstrong’s vaudevillian style, half-musician and half-stage entertainer, outmoded and Uncle Tomism, “… he seemed a link to minstrelsy that we were ashamed of.”[61] He called bebop “Chinese music”. While touring Australia, 1954, he was asked if he could play bebop. “Bebop?” he husked. “I just play music. Guys who invent terms like that are walking the streets with their instruments under their arms.”[63] “Mack the Knife” was released in 1956. Record of Armstrong’s visit to Brazil, 1957. In June 1950, Suzy Delair performed rehearsals of the song “C’est si bon” with Aimé Barelli and his Orchestra at the Monte Carlo casino where Louis Armstrong was finishing the evening. Armstrong enjoyed the song and he recorded the American version in New York City on June 26, 1950. In the 1960s, he toured Ghana and Nigeria.[64][65] After finishing his contract with Decca Records, he became a freelance artist and recorded for other labels.[66][67] He continued an intense international touring schedule, but in 1959 he suffered a heart attack in Italy and had to rest.

Louis Armstrong01

In 1964, after over two years without setting foot in a studio, he recorded his biggest-selling record, “Hello, Dolly!”, a song by Jerry Herman, originally sung by Carol Channing. Armstrong’s version remained on the Hot 100 for 22 weeks, longer than any other record produced that year, and went to No. 1 making him, at 62 years, 9 months and 5 days, the oldest person ever to accomplish that feat. In the process, he dislodged the Beatles from the No. 1 position they had occupied for 14 consecutive weeks with three different songs.[69] External audio Louis Daniel Armstrong talks with Studs Terkel on WFMT; 1962/6/24, 33:43, Studs Terkel Radio Archive. Armstrong kept touring well into his 60s, even visiting part of the communist bloc in 1965. He also toured Africa, Europe, and Asia under the sponsorship of the US State Department with great success, earning the nickname “Ambassador Satch” and inspiring Dave Brubeck to compose his jazz musical The Real Ambassadors.

Louis Armstrong02

By 1968, he was approaching 70 and his health began to give out. He suffered heart and kidney ailments that forced him to stop touring. He did not perform publicly at all in 1969 and spent most of the year recuperating at home. Meanwhile, his longtime manager Joe Glaser died. By the summer of 1970, his doctors pronounced him fit enough to resume live performances. He embarked on another world tour, but a heart attack forced him to take a break for two months. Armstrong made his last recorded trumpet performances on his 1968 album Disney Songs the Satchmo Way. (by wikipedia)

AlternateFrontCovers.jpgAlternate frontcovers

And here´s a great concert from 1962, I guess this was a radio broadcast show, released 30 years later.

Let´s celebrate one of these great jazz musicians from the erly days of Jazz !


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Danny Barcelona (drums)
Jewel Brown (vocals)
Billy Cronk (bass)
Joe Darensbourg (clarinet)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Trummy Young (trombone)


01. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (René/Muse) 3.17
02. (Back Home Again In) Indiana (McDonald/Hanley) 4.22
03, A Kiss To Build A Dream On Kalmar/Ruby/Hammerstein) 4.27
04. My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It (‘Williams) 3.16
05. Tiger Rag (LaRocca/DaCosta) 1.26
06. Now You Has Jazz (Porter) 6.51
07. High Society (Williams/Piron) 3.03
08. Ole Miss (Handy) 3.48
09. When I Grow Too Old To Dream (Hammerstein/Wood/Romberg) 4.17
10. Tin Roof Blues (Roppolo/Mares/Pollack/Brunies/Stitzel/Melrose) 5.18
11. Yellow Dog Blues (Handy) 3.00
12- When The Saints (Traditional) 3.33
13. Struttin’ With Some Barbecue (Armstrong/Raye) 5.51
14. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Traditional) 3.13
15. Blueberry Hill (Lewis/Stock/Rose) 3.27
16. The Faithful Hussar (Frantzen) 5.10
17. Saint Louis Blues (Handy) 3.36
18. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 3.23
19. Mack The Knife (Brecht/Weill) 4.54



Louis Armstrong03
Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson – Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1957)

LPFrontCover1.jpgLouis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson is a 1957 studio album by Louis Armstrong, accompanied by Oscar Peterson.

The album was reissued in 1997 on CD with four bonus tracks, recorded at the sessions that produced Ella and Louis Again. (by wikipedia)

By 1957, hard bop was firmly established as the “jazz of now,” while pianist Oscar Peterson and his ensemble with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis were making their own distinctive presence felt as a true working band playing standards in the swing tradition. Louis Armstrong was more recognizable to the general public as a singer instead of the pioneering trumpet player he was. But popularity contests being the trend, Armstrong’s newer fans wanted to hear him entertain them, so in retrospect it was probably a good move to feature his vocalizing on these tracks with Peterson’s band and guest drummer Louie Bellson sitting in. The standard form of Armstrong singing the lead lines, followed by playing his pithy and witty horn solos based on the secondary melody, provides the basis for the format on this charming but predictable recording. What happens frequently is that Armstrong and Peterson play lovely ad lib vocal/piano duets at the outset of many tunes. They are all songs you likely know, with few upbeat numbers or obscure choices. It is, however, the familiarity of songs like the midtempo “Let’s Fall in Love,” with Armstrong’s gravelly scat singing, and his marvelous ability to riff off of the basic songs, that make these offerings endearing.


A classic take of “Blues in the Night” is the showstopper, while choosing “Moon Song” is a good, off-the-beaten-path pick as the trumpeter plays two solo choruses, and he leads out on his horn for once during the slightly bouncy, basic blues “I Was Doing All Right.” Some extremely slow tunes crop up on occasion, like “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” an atypically downtempo take of “Let’s Do It,” and “You Go to My Head,” featuring Peterson’s crystalline piano. There are the dependable swingers “Just One of Those Things,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Sweet Lorraine,” with Peterson at his accompanying best. There’s a ramped-up version of the usually downtrodden “Willow Weep for Me” and a duet between Armstrong and Ellis on the sad two-minute ditty “There’s No You.” All in all, it’s difficult to critique or find any real fault with these sessions, though Peterson is subsumed by the presence of Armstrong, who, as Leonard Feather notes, really needs nobody’s help. That this was their only collaboration speaks volumes to how interactive and communal the session really was, aside from the fairly precious music. (by Michael G. Nastos)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Louie Bellson (drums)
Ray Brown (bass)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Oscar Peterson (piano)

01. That Old Feeling (Brown/Fain) 2.45
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen/Koehler) 3.17
03. I’ll Never Be The Same (Malneck/Signorelli/Kahn) 3.32
04. Blues In The Night (Arlen/Mercer) 5.13
05. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 5.59
06. I Was Doing All Right (G. Gershwin/I. Gershwin) 3.23
07. What’s New? (Burke/Haggart) 2.43
08. Moon Song (Coslow/Johnston) 4.34
09. Just One Of Those Things (Porter) 4.05
10. There’s No You (Adair/Hopper) 2.17
11. You Go To My Head (Coots/Gillespie) 6.27
12. Sweet Lorraine (Burwell/Parish) 5.14
13. I Get A Kick Out Of You (Porter) 4.19
14. Makin’ Whoopee (Donaldson/Kahn) 3.58
15. Willow Weep For Me (Ronell) 4.19
16. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) (Porter) 8.42




Louis Armstrong And The Sy Oliver Choir – Louis And The Good Book (1958)

BrunswickFrontCover1.jpgLouis and the Good Book is a 1958 jazz and spirituals album by Louis Armstrong.

Singles included “I’ll String Along with You” / “On My Way (Out on My Traveling Shoes)” 1959, also known as I’m On My Way.

An unusual album in the Louis Armstrong canon, this collection of gospel songs, spirituals, homilies, and comic vignettes was the only religious album this determinedly secular musician recorded. Backed by a gospel vocal group led by the celebrated jazz arranger Sy Oliver, Armstrong performs a variety of religious-themed favorites, including “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel,” “Go Down Moses,” and “Didn’t it Rain,” as well as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot“. There’s an affecting version of the traditional spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.

Louis made many divine recordings, but this 1958 LP was the only one specifically devoted to spiritual songs. At times joyous, solemn, whimsical and moving, this uplifting classic Spirituals.

GermanLabels1970.jpgI highly recommend this album as representative of Armstrong’s religious devotions and background. The accompanying singers are excellent and his vocals as well as instrumentals solo’s are simply perfection….

Reverend Eatmore is comedy in a most refined and humorous mode that can be enjoyed when listened to numerous times….

His rendition of “Motherless Child” is heartfelt and poignant given Armstrongs own background… (Edward J. Cox)

This 1958 recording contains eighteen wonderful spirituals with the Sy Oliver choir and two mock “sermons.” Louis Armstrong is obviously having a ball and enjoying every second he’s singing and playing his trumpet. The choir is excellent and the whole recording just works; it’s one to play over and over again. (Joe Graphics)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Everett Barksdale (guitar)
George Barnes (guitar)
Hank D’Amico (clarinet)
Barrett Deems (drums)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Mort Herbert (bass)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Dave McRae (clarinet)
Nickie Tagg (organ)
Trummy Young (trombone)
The Sy Oliver Choir conducted by Sy Oliver


01. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Traditional) 3.01
02. Shadrack (MacGimsey) 2.46
03. Go Down Moses (Traditional) 3.39
04. Rock My Soul (In The Bosom O Abraham) (Huey) 2.57
05. Ezekiel Saw The Wheel (Traditional) 2.32
06. On My Way (Got On My Travelin’ Shoes) (Chapman/Carroll) 3.04
07. Down By The Riverside (Traditional) 3.10
08. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Traditional) 3.09
09. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Traditional) 3.29
10. Jonah And The Whale (MacGimsey) 2.40
11. Didn’t It Rain (Traditional) 2.50
12. This Train (Tharpe) 2.27




Louis Armstrong asked Richard Nixon to carry his bags through customs.
The bags had marijuana in them.

I guess this was the first and last time, Mr. Nixon did a great Job !

Louis Armstrong – Armstrong Forever Vol. 1 (1972)

FrontCover1Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901– July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance.[3] With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also very skilled at scat singing.

Armstrong is renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was extremely racially divided at the time. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society which were highly restricted for black men of his era. (by wikipedia)


Louis Armstrong, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong died at his home in Queens, New York, on July 6, 1971. (by


And here´s just a sampler … but a real nice one … it´s a sort of “Best Of” Album …

And I guess it´s time to discover the great Louis Armstrong again … his music is timeless !


Bernard Addison (guitar on 07. + 12.)
Henry Allen (trumpet on 01.)
Edward Anderson (trumpet on 078 + 12.)
Gene Anderson (piano on 02. + 06.)
Paul Barbarin (drums on 01. + 1.)
Mancy Cara (banjo on 02., 05. – 07.)
Johnny Dodds (saxophone, clarinet on 10.)
Lilian Hardin Armstrong (piano on 10.)
Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals, cornet)
Pete Briggs (bass on 02. + 06.)
Ceele Burke (banjo on 03. 04. + 09.)
Eddie Condon (banjo on 11.)
Luther Craven (trombone on 03., 04. + 08.)
Bert Curry (saxophone on 02. + 06.)
John St. Cyr (banjo on 10.)
Carroll Dickerson (violin on 02. + 06.)
Pops Foster (bass on 01. + 11.)
Lionel Hampton (drums, vibraphone on 03., 05. + 09.)
Henry Hicks (trombone on 07. + 12.)
J.C. Higginbotham (trombone on 01. + 11.)
Teddy Hill (saxophone on 01. + 11.)
Earl Hines (piano on 05. + 07.)
Les Hite (saxophone on 03., 04. + 09.)
Homer Hobson (trumpet on 02. + 06.)
Bobby Holmes (clarinet, saxophone on 08. + 12.)
Charlie Holmes (saxophone on 01. + 11.)
Lavert Hutchinson (bass on 08. + 12.)
Franz Jackson (saxophone on 03., 04. + 09.)
Lonnie Johnson (guitar on 11.)
Otis Johnson (trumpet on 01.)
Will Johnson (guitar on 01.)
Willy Lynch (drums on 08. + 12.)
Castor McCord (saxophone on 07. + 12.)
Theodore McCord (saxophone on 07. + 12.)
Albert Nicholas (clarinet on 10., saxophone on 01.)
Richard Orendorf (trumpet on 03., 04. + 09.)
Kid Ory (trombone on 10.)
Jimmy Prince (piano on 03., 04. + 09.)
Don Redman (saxophone on 07.)
Fred Robinson (trombone on 02., 05. – 07.)
Marshall Royal (clarinet on 03., 04. + 09.)
Luis Russell (piano on 01. + 11.)
Zutty Singleton (drums on 02., 05. – 07.)
Jimmy Strong (saxophone on 02., 05. – 07.)
Joe Turner (piano on 07. + 12.)
Crawford Wetherington (saxophone on 02. + 06.)


Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
01. St-Louis Blues (Handy) 3.02
02. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Razaf/Waller/Brooks) 3.24

Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club:
03. Body And Soul (Heyman/Green/Sour) 3.15
04. The Peanut Vendor (Simons) 3.27

Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five:
05. Basin Street Blues (Williams) 3.17

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
06. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 3.21

Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five:
07. St-James Infirmary (Redman) 3.21

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
08. Tiger Rag (La Rocca) 3.12

Louis Armstrong & His Sebastian New Cotton Club:
09. Just A Gigolo (Caesar/Casucci) 3.18

Louis Armstrong And His Hot Five:
10. Muskrat Ramble (Ory) 2.37

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra:
11. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields/McHugh) 3.26
12. Dinah (Akst/Young/Lewis) 3.12



Alternate frontcover

Various Artists – The History Of Jazz – The New Orleans Joys (1994)

frontcover1This is a real fine compilation about the roots of Jazz, about the early Jazz in New Orleans:

The music of New Orleans assumes various styles of music which have often borrowed from earlier traditions. New Orleans, Louisiana, is especially known for its strong association with jazz music, universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre. The earliest form was dixieland, which has sometimes been called traditional jazz, ‘New Orleans’, and ‘New Orleans jazz’. However, the tradition of jazz in New Orleans has taken on various forms that have either branched out from original dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. New Orleans has also been a prominent center of funk, home to some of the earliest funk bands such as The Meters.

The African influence on New Orleans music can trace its roots at least back to Congo Square in New Orleans in 1835, when slaves would congregate there to play music and dance on Sundays. African music was played as well as local music, including that of such local white composers as Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Along with such popular European musical forms popular in the city, perhaps most notably the brass band traditions, the cultural mix laid the groundwork for the New Orleans musical art forms to come.
By 1838 the local paper—the daily Picayune—ran a scathing article complaining about the emergence of brass bands in the city, which it stated could be found on every corner.

Caricature of an African-American band playing in New Orleans in 1890. New Orleans writer Al Rose has called this “The earliest known illustration of a jazz band”. While the instrumentation of cornet or trumpet, trombone, clarinet, and drums is suggestive of the early jazz bands of some 15 years later, how close this music was to what would be known as “jazz” is speculative.

The term “jazz” (early on often spelled “jass”) did not become popular until the mid and late 1910s, when New Orleans musicians first rose to prominence in other parts of the USA and the New Orleans style needed a new name to differentiate it from the nationally popular ragtime. Before then, the New Orleans style was frequently simply called “ragtime” (Sidney Bechet continued to call his music “ragtime” throughout his life), along with such local terms as “hot music” and “ratty music”.

The local New Orleans dance music style was already distinctive in the 19th century. When this style became what was later known as “jazz” remains a matter of debate and definition, although most New Orleans music historians believe what became known as New Orleans style jazz was the product of a series of developments, probably reaching its famous form no earlier than the 1890s and no later than the mid 1910s.
By the 1890s a man by the name of Poree hired a band led by cornetist Buddy Bolden, many of whose contemporaries as well as many jazz historians consider to be the first prominent jazz musician. The music was not called jazz at this time, consisting of marching band music with brass instruments and dancing. If anything, Bolden could be said to have been a blues player.
The actual term “jazz” was first “jass”, the etymology of which is still not entirely clear. The connotation is sexual in nature, as many of the early performers played in rough working class venues. Despite colorful stories of mid-20th century writers, the prostitution district known as Storyville was no more important in the development of the music than the city’s other neighborhoods, but did play a role in exposing some out of town visitors to the style. Many instruments used were often acquired second-hand at pawn shops, including used military band instruments.

The Creole people of New Orleans also contributed greatly to the evolution of the artform, though their own music became heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Bolden. New Orleans-born musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Jelly Roll Morton all recalled the influence Bolden had on the direction of the music of New Orleans. (Armstrong himself had no memory of Bolden, but was told about him by his mentor King Oliver), and jazz itself. (by wikipedia)

Enjoy this sentimental journey to the roots of (New Orleans) Jazz !
see booklet for details
CD 1:
01. King Oliver and His Creole Jazz Band: Chimes Blues (Oliver) 2.53
02. Piron’s New Orleans Orchestra: Bouncing Around (Bocage/Piron) 2.45
03. Fate’s Society Orchestra Marable: Frankie & Johnny (Traditional) 2.47
04. Jelly Roll Morton: Tia Juana (Morton) 2.50
05. Clarence Williams Blue Five: Texas Moaner Blues (Barnes/Williams) 3.14
06. Red Onion Jazz Babies: Calke Walking Babies (Williams/Smith/Troy) 3.18
07. Celestin’s Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra: Original Tuxedo Rag (Celestin) 2.44
08. King Oliver & Jelly Roll Morton:King Porter Stomp (Morton) 2.31
09. Bertha “Chippie” Hill: Trouble in Mind (Jones) 2.52
10. Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five: Cornet Shop Suey (Armstrong) 3.01
11. Arthur Sims & His Creole Roof Orchestra: Soapstick Blues (Jones) 3.06
12. Cookie’s Gingersnaps: Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man (Rose/Harrison) 3.24
13. New Orleans Wanderers: Perdido Street Blues (Armstrong) 3.11
14. Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers: Doctor Jazz (Other) 3.26
15. Louis Dumaine Jazzola Eight: Franklin Street Blues (Dumaine/Jackson) 3.22
16. Sam Morgan Jazz Band: Mobile Stomp (Morgan) 3.00
17. Johnny’s  Dodds Black Bottom Stompers: New Orleans Stomp (Dodds) 2.44
18. King Oliver and His Dixie Syncopators: Willie The Weeper (Rymal/Melrose/Bloom) 2.54


CD 2:
01. Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven: Wild Man Blues (Armstrong/Morton) 3.18
02. Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven: Ory’s Creole Trombone (Ory) 3.08
03. The Chicago Footwarmers: Get ’em Again Blues (Barbarin/Russell) 2.54
04. Johnny Dodds: Too Tight (Armstrong) 2.59
05. Jabbo Smith’s Rhythm Aces: Sweet ‘n’ Low Blues (Smith) 4.23
06. Omer Simeon and Earl Hines: Beau Koo Jack (Simeon) 2.43
07. Jones & Collins Astoria Hot Eight: Duet Stomp (Collins/Jones) 2.53
08. New Orleans Feetwarmers: Maple Leaf Rag (Joplin) 2.59
09. Trixie Smith: He May Be Your Man (But He Comes To See Me Sometimes) (Fowler/Bradford) 2.50
10. Tommy Ladnier: Really the Blues (Mezzron) 3.39
11. Jelly Roll MortonNew Orleans Jazzmen: Oh, Didn’t He Ramble (Handy) 2.59
12. Louis Armstrong: 2.19 Blues (Desdume) 2.51
13. Zutty Singleton: Shimme-Sha-Wobble (Williams) 3.06
14, Henry “Red” Allen and His Orchestra: Down In Jungle Town (Morse/Madden) 2.50
15. Sidney Becher and His New Orleans Feetwarmers: Make Me A Pallet On The Floor (Traditional) 3.15
16. Johnny Dodds: Red Onion Blues (Williams) 2.54
17. Jimmie Noone: New Orleans Hop Scop Blues (Thomas) 2.55
18. Edmond Hall’s Blue Note Jazzmen: High Society (Piron) 4.05



Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington – American Freedom (The Complete Louis Armstrong-Duke Ellington Sessions ) (1961)

FrontCover1Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were (and are) two of the main stems of jazz. Any way you look at it, just about everything that’s ever happened in this music leads directly — or indirectly — back to them. Both men were born on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, and each became established as a leader during the middle ’20s. Although their paths had crossed from time to time over the years, nobody in the entertainment industry had ever managed to get Armstrong and Ellington into a recording studio to make an album together. On April 3, 1961, producer Bob Thiele achieved what should be regarded as one of his greatest accomplishments; he organized and supervised a seven-and-a-half-hour session at RCA Victor’s Studio One on East 24th Street in Manhattan, using a sextet combining Duke Ellington with Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars. This group included ex-Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard, ex-Jimmie Lunceford swing-to-bop trombonist Trummy Young, bassist Mort Herbert, and drummer Danny Barcelona. A second session took place during the afternoon of the following day. The music resulting from Thiele’s inspired experiment is outstanding and utterly essential. That means everybody ought to hear this album at least once, and many will want to hear it again and again all the way through, for this is one of the most intriguing confluences in all of recorded jazz. Armstrong blew his horn with authority and sang beautifully and robustly. “Azalea” is a harmonically pixilated melody with complicated, peculiarly rhymed lyrics composed by Duke many years earlier with Armstrong in mind. Other highlights include the bluesy “I’m Just a Lucky So and So,” a smoking hot, scat-laden rendition of “Cotton Tail,” and “The Beautiful American,” a marvelously modern exercise composed on the spot by Ellington that leaves one with the curious impression that Armstrong has just finished sitting in with Charles Mingus.


Duke Ellington + Louis Armstrong

It’s also a premonition of the Ellington/Mingus/Roach Money Jungle session that would take place the following year. Since Thiele had “borrowed” Ellington from Columbia without permission, Roulette compensated by “lending” Count Basie & His Orchestra for the big-band blowout album entitled First Time! The Count Meets the Duke. The Armstrong/Ellington master takes were originally issued on two long-playing records; Together for the First Time came out on Roulette in 1961 and The Great Reunion appeared in 1963. Both albums later resurfaced as a Roulette LP two-fer entitled The Duke Ellington/Louis Armstrong Years. This material is also available in a Roulette Jazz Deluxe Edition with The Making of The Great Summit, a fascinating supplementary disc containing an hour’s worth of rehearsals, conversations, and alternate takes. Those who truly love and respect Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington will want to obtain, absorb, study, and cherish the Deluxe Edition of The Great Summit. (by arwulf arwulf)

booklet 02A

Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Danny Barcelona (drums)
Barney Bigard (clarinet)
Duke Ellington  (piano)
Mort Herbert (bass)
Trummy Young (trombone)


Original frontcover

01. Duke’s Place (Ellington/Katz/Thiele) 5.08
02. I’m Just A Lucky So And So (David/Ellington) 3.11
03. Cotton Tail (Ellington) 3.47
04. Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington/Mills) 4.00
05. Do Nothin’ ‘Til You Hear From Me (Ellington/Russell) 2.39
06. The Beautiful American (Ellington) 3.11
07. Black And Tan Fantasy (Ellington/Miley) 4.03
08. Drop Me Off In Harlem (Ellington/Kenny) 3.52
09. The Mooche (Ellington/Mills) 3.46
10. In A Mellow Tone (Ellington/Gabler) 3.53
11. It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) (Ellington/Mills) 4.00
12. Solitude (DeLange/Ellington/Mills) 4.57
13. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) 3.35
14. I’m Beginning To See The Light (Ellington/George/Hodges/James) 3.39
15. Just Squeeze Me (But Don’t Tease Me) (Ellington/Gaines) 4.00
16. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Ellington/Webster) 5.34
17. Azalea (Ellington) 5.06



If you love this music … you can´t vote for Donald Trump !

Louis Armstrong And His All-Stars – Satchmo Live In Berlin Friedrichstadtpalast – The Legendary Berlin Concert (2000)

FrontCover1In its effort to undermine the Soviet Union’s claims to cultural supremacy during the Cold War, the CIA founded the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF), which sponsored literary journals, ballet and modernist musical performances, and modern art exhibitions. The CCF also sent jazz musicians like Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, and Duke Ellington to Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Foremost among the “Goodwill Jazz Ambassadors” was Louis Armstrong. From 1955 on, Armstrong traveled the world, performing with his All Stars in support of U.S. interests abroad. Armstrong and his All Stars began their tours in Europe, where he became known as “Ambassador Satch.” His popularity among soldiers and civilians on both sides of the Berlin wall was legendary: “No boundary was closed to Louis,” said bassist Arvell Shaw. In a 1955 interview, Armstrong recalled that during a concert in West Berlin fans “slipped over the Iron Curtain” to hear him play.

Armstrong and the All Stars returned to Berlin several times in the following years. Ten years after their first European tour, they appeared in East Berlin in March of 1965, playing two sets, including popular tunes like “Hello, Dolly,” “How High the Moon,” and “Mack the Knife.” Jazz historian Ricky Riccardi observes that this was “a historic tour as it marked the first—and only—time Louis cracked the Iron Curtain.” Riccardi also calls Armstrong’s ensemble “one of the finest editions of Armstrong’s All Stars.” See the full East Berlin performance at the top of the post.


That same year, Armstrong and band brought their jazz diplomacy to Budapest, contributing to the longstanding love of American jazz in the Hungarian city, which now hosts a Louis Armstrong Festival in the nearby town of Vác (and once had its own “Satchmo Jazz Café”). You can hear a recording of the Budapest concert in two parts, above and below.

Despite the lasting impression Armstrong left all over the world, his tours involved some controversy. He faced criticism from African-American press at home when, during his 1965 East Berlin appearance, he “refused to be drawn into a discussion of the race problem in the United States.” He is quoted as saying “I’ve got no grievances… I have been treated fine in the South.” The censure was perhaps a little unfair. According to Riccardi, Armstrong reacted angrily to the violent abuse of protesters in Selma earlier that month, making headlines with the comment “They would beat Jesus if he was black and marched.” Nevertheless, once on the other side of the wall, Armstrong stayed mum on racial conflict in the Deep South.

Armstrong02Armstrong also took a very pointed stand for civil rights a few years earlier. In 1957, furious over Arkansas governor Orval Faubus’ use of National Guard troops to block the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Armstrong famously canceled a tour to the Soviet Union and only resumed his ambassador tours after Eisenhower intervened. At first, learning of events in Little Rock, Armstrong told Larry Lubenow, a 21-year-old journalism student, “it’s getting almost so bad a colored man hasn’t got any country.” Eisenhower, he said, was “two faced” and had “no guts.”

It was in part this protest—and the hypocritical U.S. deployment of black performers abroad as representatives of rights they were denied at home—that inspired Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola to write a satirical jazz musical called The Real Ambassadors, featuring Louis Armstrong as a performer and main character of the drama (hear an excerpt above). In the musical “Pops,” Armstrong’s nickname in the business, travels to a fictional African country to spread the gospel of American democracy, well aware of the irony of his situation: “though he represents the government, the government don’t represent him.” Armstrong saw the musical—which had only one live performance, at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1962—as an opportunity to address the complex racial issues surrounding his role as an ambassador for a segregated nation.

The setting of the Brubecks’ musical—where “Pops” the character is made “king or a day”—came from Armstrong’s tours in Africa, particularly his 1956 trip to Ghana as a guest of Kwame Nkrumah. As you can see in the film above—shot by CBS and Edward R. Murrow—Armstrong was indeed treated like a king on his arrival to the newly-independent West African country. Audiences, including Prime Minister Nkrumah, to whom Armstrong dedicates “Black and Blue,” sit rapt as the All Stars perform at the Opera House in Accra.

On his flight home after the tour, Armstrong rubbed elbows with another world leader, then-vice president Richard Nixon. Nixon, writes KCRW’s Tom Schnabel, “was a big fan, and chatted with Satchmo throughout the flight back.” Other versions of the story have Nixon meeting Armstrong at Dulles Airport, and some say the two met in Paris. In each version, however, Armstrong—who “loved marijuana and smoked it everyday”—gets Nixon to unwittingly carry a trumpet case full of “fine Ghanaian weed” through customs. The story may well be apocryphal, but it speaks to Armstrong’s canny, subversive role as America’s foremost “goodwill jazz ambassador.” (by openculture.com)


This concert was recorded live in East Berlin at the Friedrichstadtpalast on March 22, 1965 as part of Armstrong’s first tour to eastern Europe. He played six concerts in Berlin, four in Leipzig and five more in Magdeburg, Erfurt and Schwerin. In the GDR he would play two concerts every day. The tour continued in the CSSR, Hungaria, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Danny Barcelona (drums)
Tyree Glenn (trombone)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Arvell Shaw (bass)
Eddie Shu (clarinet. saxophone)


01. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South (L. René / O. René ) 3.30
02. Mack The Knife (Weill/Bracht/Blitzstein) 4.04
03. Blueberry Hill (Rose/Lewis/Stock) 4.14
04. Without A Song (Youmans/Rose/Eliscu) 6.10
05. Struttin’ With Some Barbecue (Armstrong/Raye) 5.33
06. The Faithful Husar (Traditional/Frantzen) 4.23
07. Memories Of You (Blake/Razat) 8.39
08. Hello Dolly (Euble ) 6.02
09. The Faithful Husar (Es war rinmal ein Ttreuer Husar / Radioversion) (Traditional/Frantzen) 2.49




Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

FrontCover1Although this Christmas compilation is credited to “Louis Armstrong & Friends,” it’s really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It’s pleasant pop-jazz that doesn’t rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists’ careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” and Louis Jordan’s “May Everyday Be Christmas,” which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. (by Richie Unterberger)


01. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas In New Orleans (Sherman(/v.Winkle) 2.54
02. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.39
03. Dinah Washington: Silent Night (Gruber/More) 2.23
04. Mel Torme: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.07
05. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas Time In Harlem (Scott/Paris) 2.39
06. Peggy Lee: It´s Christmas Time Again (Burke/Elliott/Harwood) 3.00
07. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: Cool Yule (Allen) 2.55
08. Lionel Hampton: Merry Christmas, Baby (Moore/Baxter) 3.22
09. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? (Fox) 2.40
10. Eartha Kitt/Henri Rene Orchestra: Santa Baby (P.Springer/T.Springer/Javils) 3.26
11. Duke Ellington: JIngle Bells (Pierpont) 3.00
12. Lena Horne: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.43
13. Louis Jordan: May Everyday Be Christmas (Jordan) 3.11
14. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.00