Louis Armstrong: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
In the 1990s many of the major label engineers who first began working with digital noise reduction (Cedar, Sonic Solutions) focused solely on the noise reduction. They strove to get rid of the scratch and hiss, sometimes with good results, sometimes with disappointing results, as the noise reduction also reduced the sensitive high frequencies of the music itself. Luckily in this case, the tonal characteristics of the music have been preserved nicely. The problems lie elsewhere.
Problem 1: all the records seem to have been transferred at the "standard" speed of 78.26 r.p.m. Victor actually used several other speeds as well, and many or most of these early Armstrongs are running too fast or too slow.
Problem 2: most of the records on the first two discs are off center to various degrees, and the pitch wobbles, making the whole band sound out of tune. This is something that needs to be tackled when the original transfers are made (and it's easy to do) but for some reason these guys didn't do it. Maybe they were working with early tape transfers or previous reissues instead of original discs.
Anyway, put these two things together, and the result (to me) is an almost unlistenable collection of fantastic recordings.
that we would get the priveliged opportunity to hear three full-length sessions from
The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1933-48), and with great thanks to RCA as
well as BMG, this entire set has plenty of timeless music to enjoy. However, during
that time before 1947, do you realize that record companies would sell a recorded
session in 78 sets? The answer seems to be a historic yes, and what I like to add
in this review are three honourable reviews to the three recorded sessions each--
starting with this one, where a review for each of them will be included.
Young Louis Armstrong. (1933)
"A Towering Music Achievement Done With Jubilation!
Making the switch to RCA Victor Records after his stay with Columbia Records,
Louis Armstrong would again impressed listeners and the critics with this landmark
ambitious recorded session (or 78 set) that also became a fascinating in-the-studio
experience for him and the celebrated jazz master. Recorded between December
of 1932 and 1933 and released in it’s 78 set format in 1933—and released in it’s 2-
LP format in the late-1970’s, Young Louis Armstrong showcases a large ensemble
jamboree that is heralded by first class arranging, high-swinging vitality, Satchmo’s
versatile trumpet- vocal solos performed with class and defining skill, excellent pep
and occasional dashes of honour and jubilation mixed together that made this epic
recorded session a complete success.Read more ›
As for the music, this is a great set, not to be missed. But you are not getting the complete recordings of Armstrong on RCA; they are lying to you, and you should know that when you buy this.
You will need to also buy that other set (The Complete Town Hall Concert Jazz Tribune No. 43) if you want to possibly get all of the RCA-released songs of Armstrong; that set contains a full 14 recordings released by RCA that are not on this supposedly "complete" set. And who knows what else they might have omitted, as they obviously cannot be trusted to tell you that they are giving you something complete.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this is Louis "going commercial", we should all be so commercial. His brilliance transcends category. Hear it and know the truth.Published 27 days ago by reader
This 1997 set is identical in content to the 2008 reissue. Making the assumption that the technical advances in the intervening years resulted in better remastering in 2008, I see... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Shamelady
These are excellent classic tracks in de luxe presentation superb notes/analysis in booklet, so good should be in every jazz collectionPublished on January 15, 2014 by toymaker
There are so many great sides on this collection but Rockin' Chair live with Teagarden is one of both's best. Don't miss it.Published on February 11, 2012 by Andrew Levas
If you don't love the greatest jazz trumpeter ever, not to mention singer, then don't bother. Husband happy.Published on February 10, 2010 by Keily D. Levy