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I Love Jazz

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Album Review

This eight-song LP is an excellent studio representation of Louis Armstrong & the All-Stars at work in their prime as a nostalgia act. And just because they were a nostalgia act didn't mean they didn't push the envelope given half a chance, as these recordings did. The personnel list is impressive on its own terms, with Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, and Barney Bigard together in the small group stretching out on "Twelfth Street Rag," and if the later incarnations of the group aren't as eye-catching in their personnel, they're every bit as much of a pleasure to hear on "Skokiaan" (aka "South African Song"), "Frog-I-More Rag," or the title tune. Pianist Billy Kyle gets the spotlight for a chunk of the extended jam of "Otchi-Tchor-Ni-Ya" before Peanuts Hucko and Eddie Miller take center stage on clarinet and tenor sax. The medley of "Tenderly"/"You'll Never Walk Alone" shows off the elegant side of the ensemble's playing and makes a good contrast with the jauntier traditional Dixieland sound on most of the disc.


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, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging...
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