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The Complete Columbia/Okeh & RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 (Box Set) [Box set, Limited Edition]

Louis Armstrong Audio CD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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The Complete Columbia/Okeh & RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 (Box Set) + The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B008S80PPG
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,516 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Louis Armstrong's extraordinary early work forms the wellspring of jazz and much of American popular music. Armstrong's revolutionary trumpet playing established the solo improvisation as the focus of jazz performance. His equally inventive singing, loose and improvisatory yet always deeply emotive, has affected vocalists for nearly a century. In other words, he made the world swing.

Transforming jazz into high art, Armstrong quickly became an international icon. His natural hipness, combined with the joie de vivre and endearing personality that permeates all his music, kept Armstrong a beloved representative for America and its arts over the course of his five decades in the public eye.

Masterly late 1920's Hot Five and Hot Seven group performances such as "Potato Head Blues," "Cornet Chop Suey," "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" and "West End Blues" rewrote the book for instrumental improvisation, while "Heebie Jeebies," with Armstrong's stunning scat singing, broke open the frontiers of vocal interpretation. Armstrong's move to RCA found him caressing great popular songs like "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues" and "I Got The World On A String," while continuing to lay down the law with such bravura instrumental sides as "Mahagony Hall Stomp" and "High Society."

No one had ever heard anything like Armstrong when these recordings were first issued; today, his joyous message resounds loud and clear.

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
Having just finished listening to the 10th and final CD of this set, I have to say I'm disappointed -- not by the music, of course (except here and there), but by the quality of the remastering, especially in the crucial earlier recordings. These come across as rather dead and muffled, I assume due to heavy-handed noise reduction.

The 4-disc JSP set is considerably cheaper and has a noticeably more open sound. Admittedly it's also a bit noisier, but the trade-off is well worth it. This set covers roughly the same material as the first 5 and half CDs of the new Sony release. As for the last 4 and half CDs of the new set, there are certainly some gems, but not many. The two discs of RCA material in particular are rather weak. On the plus side, the remastering is better on this later material.

One other nit: track 17 of disc 8 is listed as "Love, You Funny Thing", when in fact it's "Lord, You Made the Night Too Long", one of the nicer 1932 performances.

Lately Sony has been doing a better job of remastering than they used to. The recent Robert Johnson is a good example. Sadly, the Armstrong set is not. But then it's not clear this is a remaster at all, as opposed to a re-packaging of remasters done 10-15 years ago.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Out of tune poorly mastered don't buy this... November 13, 2012
This collection is just a re-issue of previously released recordings without any new mastering or pitch correction done. There are well known issues with the pitch on the first two discs (flat). Unless you really want a quick hit for Armstrong buy the JSP box set or something else that's in tune.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong speed for Hot 5s & 7s September 11, 2013
There is a very detailed description of this set on Ricky Riccardi's dippermouth blog. He is probably the #1 Louis expert in the world, and explains that this set does include the same old versions of various hot 5s & 7s tracks at the wrong speed. The two ways to go for the hot 5s & 7s material is either the 2000 Sony Box by Phil Schaap (which is great, with a nice booklet) or the JSP box (also worthy).

This set had potential, as some of the later material can be harder to find. Sadly, that's about the only good thing offered here.
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6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential purchase November 7, 2012
To say that this is some of the most important music recorded on this planet is an understatement. But don't let that statement let you think that there's anything "serious" about this music, Louis was certainly serious about his art but the music itself is beautiful, exciting, moving, soulful, joyous, fun and in some cases downright comedic. The genius that is Louis Armstrong, lived life to the full and his music celebrated life.

This 10 CD set is beautifully produced and at $6 a CD it's a total bargain and most importantly the music is simply indispensable in any album collection. Buy it now and listen to genius personified.

Very, very, very, highly recommended!
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