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Complete Rca Victor Recordings Box set, Original recording reissued

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording reissued, September 25, 2001
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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. That's My Home
  2. Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train
  3. I Hate To Leave You Now
  4. You'll Wish You'd Never Been Born
  5. Medley Of Armstrong Hits - Part 1: I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You/When It's Sleepy...
  6. Medley Of Armstrong Hits - Part 2: When You're Smiling/St. James Infirmary/Dinah
  7. I've Got The World On A String
  8. I Got A Right To Sing The Blues
  9. Hustlin' And Bustlin' For Baby
  10. Sittin' In The Dark
  11. High Society
  12. He's A Son Of The South
  13. Some Sweet Day
  14. Basin Street Blues
  15. Honey, Do
  16. Snowball
  17. Mahogany Hall Stomp
  18. Swing, You Cats

Disc: 2

  1. Honey, Don't You Love Me Anymore?
  2. Mississippi Basin
  3. Laughin' Louie
  4. Tomorrow Night
  5. Dusky Stevedore
  6. There's A Cabinn In The Pines
  7. Mighty River
  8. Sweet Sue, Just You
  9. I Wonder Who
  10. St. Louis Blues
  11. Don't Play Me Cheap
  12. That's My Home
  13. Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train
  14. I Hate To Leave You Now
  15. You'll Wish You'd Never Been Born
  16. Medley Of Armstrong Hits - Part 2 (Alternate): When You're Smiling/St. James Infirmary/Dinah
  17. Mississippi Basin
  18. Laughin' Louie
  19. Tomorrow Night
  20. Blue Yodel No.9

Disc: 3

  1. Long, Long Journey - Louis Armstrong
  2. Snafu - Louis Armstrong
  3. Linger In My Arms A Little Longer - Louis Armstrong
  4. Whatta Ya Gonna Do - Louis Armstrong
  5. No Variety Blues - Louis Armstrong
  6. Joseph 'N' His Brudders - Louis Armstrong
  7. Back O' Town Blues - Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
  8. I Want A Little Girl - Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
  9. Sugar - Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
  10. Blues For Yesterday - Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
  11. Blues In The South - Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
  12. Endie - Louis Armstrong
  13. The Blues Are Brewin' - Louis Armstrong And His Dixieland Seven
  14. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? - Louis Armstrong And His Dixieland Seven
  15. Where The Blues Were Born In New Orleans - Louis Armstrong And His Dixieland Seven
  16. Mahogany Hall Stomp - Louis Armstrong And His Dixieland Seven
  17. I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder - Louis Armstrong
  18. I Believe - Louis Armstrong
  19. Why Doubt My Love? - Louis Armstrong

Disc: 4

  1. It Takes Time - Louis Armstrong
  2. You Don't Learn That In School - Louis Armstrong
  3. Ain't Misbehavin' - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  4. Rockin' Chair - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  5. Back O' Town Blues - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  6. Pennies From Heaven - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  7. Save It Pretty Mama - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  8. St. James Infirmary - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  9. Jack-Armstrong Blues - Louis Armstrong
  10. Rockin' Chair - Louis Armstrong
  11. Some Day You'll Be Sorry - Louis Armstrong
  12. Fifty-Fifty Blues - Louis Armstrong
  13. A Song Was Born - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  14. Please Stop Playin' Those Blues, Boy - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  15. Before Long - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  16. Lovely Weather We're Having - Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
  17. Rain, Rain - Louis Armstrong
  18. Never Saw A Better Day - Louis Armstrong


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: #408,536 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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