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The Best Live Concert, Vol. 1: Jazz in Paris

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Album Review

This 1965 Paris concert by Louis Armstrong is not all that different in content from many of his live dates recorded during the last 15 years of his life. His all-stars had changed somewhat, with clarinetist Eddie Shu replacing Edmond Hall, singer Jewel Brown taking the place of the late Velma Middleton, and trombonist Tyree Glenn replacing Trummy Young, but the dependable pianist Billy Kyle (who died the following year) is still on hand to keep the band in a familiar groove. Armstrong sticks to his dependable opener, "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," following it with a spirited "Back Home Again in Indiana." Jewel Brown is acceptable on the snappy "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," but butchers "Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine" with an overly dramatic and very pop-ish rendition. The fireworks of "Tiger Rag" are all too brief, while the often-requested "Hello Dolly" provokes several brief codas to acknowledge the audience's enthusiasm. This is one of the better-recorded concerts from late in Louis Armstrong's career, and while it couldn't be called an essential release in his considerable discography, it will not disappoint fans of his enthusiastic brand of swing. Recommended.


Born: August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a trumpet virtuoso, his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation. For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging...
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