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Louis Armstrong: The Best of the Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1996 Remaster)

Louis Armstrong

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Album Review

This 16-track collection distills a four-disc set down to one, spotlighting this generally unsung period of Armstrong's career. This period, basically 1932-1947, finds him moving from fronting a big band to forming the first versions of the smaller All-Star groups that would carry him the rest of his career. If the bands are a bit stodgy and not up to his standards of brilliance on these sides, you certainly can't fault Armstrong's performances; he's simply at the peak of his powers, blowing with an invention that didn't surface in later years. As a singer, his vocals are effusive and full of spark. Although not as well known as his early and later material, these RCA sides capture some important Armstrong, and here's a nice distillation of a peak period.

Biography

Born: 04 August 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,...
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