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  • Complete Rca Victor Recordings
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Complete Rca Victor Recordings Box set, Original recording reissued

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording reissued, September 25, 2001
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$22.24 $63.95

Editorial Reviews

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Louis Armstrong recorded for RCA Victor for two relatively brief periods in his long career, in the early days of his big band (1932 to '33) and in the period when he broke up the orchestra and returned to a New Orleans-style smaller ensemble (1946 to '47). This four-CD set is evenly divided between the two periods. The early big bands--first drummer Chick Webb's and then the trumpeter's own--provide a comfortable setting for Armstrong, who simply reigned supreme among jazz soloists of the period, with peerless invention and a stunning flexibility. He was defining the jazz singer's art as well, his subtle phrasing transforming even casual songs as convincingly as his flamboyant horn. Purists have often mourned Armstrong's shift to large groups, but these are fine bands, driven along by potent drummers like Webb and Big Sid Carlett and manned by distinguished players like saxophonists Louis Jordan and Budd Johnson and pianist Teddy Wilson. The later recordings find Armstrong leading superb groups, with old associates like trombonist Kid Ory, clarinetist Barney Bigard, and drummer Zutty Singleton and classic repertoire like Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'" and Hoagy Carmichael's "Rockin' Chair." The Town Hall recordings from 1947, with Armstrong trading vocals and solos with trombonist Jack Teagarden, are among Louis's greatest work. The set also includes meetings with other musical icons. Armstrong provides bluesy trumpet accompaniment to country singer Jimmie Rodgers on a rendition of "Blue Yodel No. 9" and meets Duke Ellington on record for the first time on "Long, Long Journey." --Stuart Broomer

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Original recording reissued
  • 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: RCA
  • ASIN: B00005O6KK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JEAN-MARIE JUIF on January 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This extraordinary 4 cd set contains every track Louis recorded for the venerable RCA Victor Company between July 16,1930 and August 1,1956.First,just a glance at the musicians you'll meet through these 75 tracks: Chick Webb,Charlie Gaines,Edgar Sampson,Louis Jordan,Budd Johnson,Teddy Wilson,Sidney Catlett,Charlie Shavers,Jimmy Hamilton,Johnny Hodges,Billy Strayhorn,Don Byas,Lucky Thompson,Remo Palmieri,Sonny Greer,Chubby Jackson,Arvell Shaw,Barney Bigard,Jack Teagarden,Vic Dickenson,Zutty Singleton,Kid Ory,Red Callender,Al Casey,Cozy Cole,Johnny Guarnieri,and even Duke Ellington and...Jimmie Rodgers !
CD 1 and 2 includes 38 tracks recorded between 1930 and 1933.They are full of masterpieces,and Louis plays and sings at his highest level."That's my home","I hate to leave you now","you'll wish you'd never been born"(based on the chords of "you rascal you",an Armstrong hit),the two parts of the medley (you rascal you/when it's sleepytime/nobody's sweetheart/when you're smiling/St James infirmary/Dinah),"I've got the world on a string","sittin' in the dark","Mississippi basin","dusky stevedore","there's a cabin in the pines" and others are some of the greatest pieces ever played by Louis.The underrated Zilner Randolph (1899-1994) can sometimes be heard on trumpet.
CD 3 an 4 includes 1946-1956 material.CD 3 starts with the "Esquire All-American 1946 Award Winners",a band including Louis,Duke,Byas,Hodges,among others.Then,some pieces with a big band (tracks 3-7).Then,magnificent septet pieces (tracks 8-11 and 14-16).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James T. Gaynor III on March 23, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is the best MP3 download of Armstrong's early work with some of the best jazz musicians of the 30's and 40's, maybe the best Jazz musicians of the 20th century. A must have for every Jazz fan.
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By Marco Buendia on July 16, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the best set, still widely available, for serious jazz fans to buy after buying the JSP Hot Five's/Sevens set (or the corresponding re-mastered Columbia set, if they run across it) and The big band recordings, 1930-1932, also on JSP and also re-mastered by the late great John R.T. Davies. (There's also a great collection, five CD's I think, of "Louis and the singers" of his work as a song accompanist in the Twenties.)

However, it should be noted that, as so often in such matters, it *ain't* complete. There are some spectacular live recordings with Jack Teagarden which RCA owned, among them a memorable "Rockin' chair", which are not on this set. This "Rockin' chair" *is* included on "Sugar : the best of the complete RCA Victor recordings". I gave away my cut-out when I got the "Complete" set, and was disappointed that the recording included here turned out to be a much tamer studio recording.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen W. Scarbrough on January 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son for Christmas. That was the highlight of his Christmas. He lives in New Orleans and very much interested in anything about New Orleans. He is very much intersted in music and reads all the time on his Kindle.
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