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Satchmo at the National Press Club: Red Beans & Rice-ly Yours

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Jazz icon Louis Armstrong, always the consummate entertainer, turned a 1971 award ceremony at the National Press Club into an impromptu performance that was one of his last concerts before passing away 5 months later. Joined by longtime band-mates Tyree Glenn and Tommy Gwaltney, Armstrong shows no signs of frailty on classics including Mack the Knife. The recording, originally a limited vinyl release by the National Press Club now available widely for the first time in both physical and digital formats, also includes highlights from Glenn s tribute concert to his late friend and teacher one year later. Armstrong often signed letters Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours, which makes for an apt title since his favorite recipes are included in the liner notes. 11 tracks, 58 minutes.
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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5:55
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2
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5:58
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3
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5:06
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4
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6:26
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5
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3:41
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6
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9:14
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7
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5:58
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8
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3:02
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3:58
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10
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4:16
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11
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B007QCZANW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,772 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Wow!
Simply stunned that Smithsonian Folkways, a respected outfit that I have quite a few albums from, would pawn this off with LARGE lettered "SATCHMO" emblazoned on the front as a Louis Armstrong album. True, it does have Mr. Armstrong playing from the National Press Club. But..only on the first 5 songs and on one track, he shares vocals with Tyree Glenn. The rest of the 6 tracks? It's strictly Tyree Glenn. If you back out the intro speechifying, Mr. Armstrong is only singing/playing for about 40% of the album's time. Disappointing and misleading, I think. If you're an over-the-top Louis Armstrong fan, you may overlook this lack of Louis (as well as the recording quality of the NPC live event). I wish Folkways had been a bit more honest with the packaging and had given Tyree Glenn top billing as he occupies most of the aural space on the album. Adding insult to the album, my delivered CD did NOT include the promised 16 page insert with Satchmo's favorite recipes. Liner notes? If you want 'em, you'll have to print them out yourself from the site. Come on Folkways! $17 for the CD and you can't provide the liner notes? Not worth the money, IMHO.
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Format: MP3 Music
Just 4 months before pops untimely death, Satchmo unsurprisingly manages to rip his trumpet apart and play some classics. It's incredibly hard to write a full review for this album but I strongly recommend any jazz buff or even beginner to buy this entire album. You won't regret it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic "time capsule" performance, and must be taken in the context of the time. Pops, although ailing, somehow manages to pull out all the stops and give his all for the audience, as usual. The man was superhuman, and one of the greatest artists the world has ever seen. The selection of tunes is typical for the final period of his life, and trombonist Tyree Glenn does a great job, especially in duo with Louis on "Rocking Chair".

Now to explain my 4 star rating: it's due to the presentation of the material. You need to know that the CD comes in a cardboard jacket that does not include any personnel, liner notes, or the much-touted recipes. Instead, you have to download that from a PDF on the Smithsonian site. Now, the text on the CD jacket states that these are included as a PDF file embedded on the CD, but they are not on my copy. This would have been a great idea, making this an interactive CD and not just the tunes-- also I'm sure the National Press Club took a lot of photos of this event, yet none of these are shared with us either. In short, the Smithsonian Folkways folks, normally known for detail and documentation, fall quite short of delivering what could have been a great historical artifact, in addition to a great CD of Pops' late period.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is both a conversation with Louis Armstrong and a musical offering. It excels in both ways, catching him at a reflective time of his life, near its end, he had been sick and surprised many by playing so ably, according to reports at the time. It's just great, to hear this brilliant musician playing informally yet poignantly. NBC and CBS carried stories on this CD last week.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Louis would have never allowed this sad recording to be released. One of your reviewers writes about his golden trumpet. But Louis was clearly so weak that he could not play it. He sings and clowns but doesn't play. He had been transformed from a great musician to a shadow of his former self, more entertainer than artist. The onetime ad libs of Louis and the great Jack Teagarden are uttered word for word by Louis and Tyree Glenn on "Rockin' Chair." They are no longer amusing, just a pathetic reminder of the great first edition of the All-Stars a quarter century earlier.

No 16 page book of recipes was enclosed in my copy as billed on the cover and shockingly no liner notes which list of the musicians who tried to hold the old man up. Armstrong is missing altogether from tracks 6 through 11 which are devoted to a mediocre set played by Tyree Glenn and a group. Again no musicians are listed.

Smithsonian Folkways should be ashamed to resurrect this sad performance of a dying man.

Tom Harris
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Format: Audio CD
Thank you for your comments. Part of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' mission statement reads as follows: Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials we seek to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others.

In order to fulfill this mission statement and disseminate music catalogued from around the world, Smithsonian Folkways keeps its entire catalogue of over 2,000 recordings available to the public as on demand CDs. Every on demand CD--including Satchmo at the National Press Club--comes packaged with original cover art and liner notes as a PDF file on the disc itself. The resulting product has been made with every effort to preserve not only the integrity of the original recording and packaging but to preserve and sustain one of the largest aural catalogues in the world.

*Liner note PDF files are also available as free downloads from folkways.si.edu (with or without purchase). If you are having trouble accessing a PDF file, or would like a hard copy of this or any set of liner notes, please contact customer service at 202-633-6450 and we will mail them to you.

--Smithsonian Folkways Customer Service
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