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Louis Armstrong: The Definitive Collection

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Album Review

The Definitive Collection devoted to Louis Armstrong takes a reverse chronological view of the pop giant's career, a format that functions surprisingly well considering its intended purpose. Beginning with his last major performance, 1967's "What a Wonderful World," the disc takes listeners on a 75-minute tour that pays closest attention to his pop and vocal landmarks of the '50s and '60s with his All-Stars group, but also reaches back to 1938 to pick up the best moments of his excellent big band. (That leaves, of course, his seminal Hot Five sides out in the cold, to be picked up elsewhere.) Also briefly surveyed are his multi-album collaboration with Ella Fitzgerald, his lush "Louis with strings" albums arranged by Russ Garcia, his hit duet with Bing Crosby on "Gone Fishin'," and the series of songs ("Blueberry Hill," "Mack the Knife") that lengthened his sheet to include not only Jazz Age hero and swing progenitor, but also postwar pop stalwart. Clearly, the career of Louis Armstrong the jazz artist can't be covered thoroughly with anything but a box set that selects material from his entire working life, but as an overview of Louis Armstrong the pop singer, The Definitive Collection is peerless. One caveat: Armstrong's best latter-day pop song, "We Have All the Time in the World" (from the 1969 James Bond vehicle On Her Majesty's Secret Service), is sadly missing in action.

Customer Reviews

Oh, Louis...

What can be said? Louis is one of the most talented artists the United States has ever produced - and this album highlights that fact. He's got a great voice and amazing musicianship, as do all of the artists he works with on this album. iTunes should make it possible to buy the entire thing, if only because you'll hear ot only your favorite song, but others that will open your mind to the genre in general and Louis in particular. I was shocked to hear Bing on Gone Fishin', but only in the best of ways. Good listenin'...

I <3 It!

This is a great album! I just recently found a... one coudl say interest in jazzy type things. This album is great and I especially love Louis's voice! Everything about it is GREAT!!!!!

good but not great

I don't really like the songs but this guy acctually has talent!Alot of the singers these day have no talent whatsoever. This guy is really good


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...
Full Bio

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