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.