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The Best of the Hot 5 & Hot 7 Recordings

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iTunes Review

This music is the urtext of jazz. Things we take for granted now — the solo that tells a story, scat singing — find their roots in the work of these Armstrong-led bands. The album's 18 tracks, which were culled from the four-CD box set, The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, unfold chronologically and can be divided into two parts: the 1926 and 1927 sessions, and the recordings from 1928. The collection’s thrilling first track, “Heebie Jeebies,” was the band’s first hit and includes the first recorded scat performance. As joyful and innovative as the earlier work may be, the music gets even better when 1928 rolls around. One major reason is the presence of the extraordinary Earl Hines at the keyboard. Whether he’s playing ethereal celeste on “Basin Street Blues” or letting loose a fired-up piano solo on “Beau Koo Jack,” he brings a high level of artistry to the proceedings. And of course it’s fascinating to hear Armstrong develop his style, track by track, throughout this seminal period. 1928’s “West End Blues,” with its legendary unaccompanied opening trumpet statement, might be the brightest burning star on the album, but there’s much else to behold on this essential disc.

Customer Reviews

Of course it sounds old!

If you brush up the audio too much you loose some of the midrange and ends. You don't want to miss a lick of the sound. Back in the 1920's recordings were tinny, so this recording isn tinny. The music is what matters, and what you get with this is a primer in the birth of the only true American musical art form: jazz. Astoundingly, you also get some of the best jazz ever recorded as well. Not many styles of music were birthed so whole at the outset that the earliest recordings were the greatest. Everything you hear to day, just about, can be traced back to these ground-breaking recordings. They hit and influneced the music industry in a way that can't be described.

A Potent Concoction of Genius.

Louis armstrong is a genius. in every sense of the word. I'm glad they did not take one iota of his genius out of these recordings. If you make something sound modern, you take away from the whole gritty feeling of the time. If you don't dig the down, dirty, tinny sound of the recording, maybe you don't appreciate the whole atmosphere of the music. Excellent CD.

The Best!

Mr Kimpton, thank you for introducing me to Satchmo. Rest in Peace.


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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