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Louis Armstrong Plays W. C. Handy

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iTunes Review

Pops' joyous, bawdy riff that opens this 1954 album goes straight back to the music of his youth: He famously cut "St. Louis Blues" with Bessie Smith in 1925, and his masterful vocal performances and thrilling trumpet improvisations on this set of songs by blues composer W.C. Handy have the kind of authority that comes from having truly lived the music. His backing band provides crisp accompaniment; trombonist Trummy Young rips on the roaring "Lone Gone (From the Bowlin' Green)". But Armstrong's malleable tone and magnetic presence command the spotlight.

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