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Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 16, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Louis Armstrong, a.k.a. Satchmo, is an American icon. Satchmo At Symphony Hall, recorded in 1947 and first issued on Decca in 1951, captured one of his greatest performances, for which a legendary edition of his All Stars band joined him, with Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Dick Cary, Arvell Shaw, Big Sid Catlett and singer Velma Middleton. Verve Music and Hip-O Select now present a newly expanded, 2-CD version of the album, celebrating the 65th anniversary of the original recording.
Satchmo At Symphony Hall / 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances is truly complete, from tuning up to closing theme of both sets performed that night. The limited edition release:

* Encompasses two hours of material
* Includes 30 minutes never before released!
* Is one of the very few surviving, complete two-set Armstrong shows
* Features Armstrong classics "On The Sunny Side Of The Street," "Black And Blue," "Mahogany Hall Stomp" and more
* Has been painstakingly restored from surviving acetates, vaulted reels and the donated holdings of the late Gosta Hagglof, a renowned Armstrong collector and friend, who willed his vast collection to the Louis Armstrong House Museum
* Includes a beautiful hard-back package with:
- The album s original liner notes by Ernie Anderson, the promoter and publicist who recorded the event
- A new and detailed essay by Ricky Riccardi, archivist for the Museum and author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong s Later Years
- Several rare photographs
- Faithful reproductions of the album s original cover and its many EP and international permutations.

Satchmo At Symphony Hall / 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances is one of the finest documents of Louis Armstrong s genius an unbeatable mix of great music and entertaining showmanship and is now in complete form for the first time.
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Digital Booklet: Satchmo At Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances
Digital Booklet: Satchmo At Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Verve Select
  • ASIN: B008XNPNBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This music changed my life when I was eighteen or so, and I can recall staring fixedly into the speaker, listening as hard as I could. I know there are many Louis Armstrong CDs and downloads for sale; I know there are many All-Stars reissues that cover the final quarter-century of his life. But this one is special, not only because it catches the front line in astonishing form, but because it preserves an edition of the All-Stars with the brilliant and neglected pianist Dick Cary, AND it might be the most extended documentation (in good sound) of the late pairing of Louis and Sidney Catlett, men who inspired each other tremendously. There is THIRTY MINUTES of material no one has heard before. Add to this spectacularly precise and enthusiastic annotations by the young master Ricky Riccardi, who knows more about later Louis than is allowed by law . . . it's an essential purchase. It made me feel eighteen again, with none of my youthful awkwardness.
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Someone asked me once, "If I were on a desert island and only had one album, what would it be?" I said " Sacthmo At Symphony Hall," I got it when I was in high school as I always loved live albums. I had all the Jazz At The Philharmonic albums. As I was a musician I flipped over the soul that this music had. There was another album by, basically, The same group at The Hollywood Empire which was very good but just not the same. That goes for other later All Star albums with different personal. There was something magical about this night, the sound, the playing and the fun they were having. As a drummer, this concert made me a fan of Big Sid. I heard and saw the greats Krupa, Rich, Bellson etc. but no one had The taste of Sid. His 2 drum solos, tasty, the fill at the end of Lover, remarkable, the fact the he doesn't play a fill or a drum beat when Louis takes his trumpet break coming out of the last bridge of Sunny Side. I don't know any drummer, including me, that wouldn't play something there. Barney's Body And Soul, one of the best. Teagarden, what can you say but he's the greatest noodleer behind singers there ever was. I loved Stars Fell On Alabama so much I kept playing it over and over, I wore it out. In fact I ended up buying at least 10 over a period of years. Lastly The Sunny Side Of The Street is maybe one of the best 4 choruses ever. Louis 2 vocal choruses, is Louis at his best. Teagarden's two 1st eights of the last chorus, Filled with soul. And of course Satches' break coming out of the bridge. I have tears in my eyes every time I hear this performance. I've been a successful musician since my teens and have played classical, jazz, rock, and I was an arranger. this is my opinion about this, but this album is special to me. I just ordered it and can't wait to hear the 30 minutes of new material.
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I'm overjoyed at this release! This has long been one of my favourite of all Louis' albums (and I'm a hard-core Louis fan). What makes this album so great:
1. Louis at the absolute top of his game.
2. Big Sid Catlett - in Louis' opinion (and my own) "the greatest drummer ever to pick up a pair of sticks".
3. Jack Teagarden - Great in his features, his duets with Louis, his obligatos.
4. The rest of the all-stars Velma Middleton, Barney Bigard, Dick Cary, Arvell Shaw all on top form.
5. The sound quality. Stunningly good for 1947.
6. The packaging/sleeve notes. A beautiful job all round, both Ernie Anderson's colourful original ones and Ricky Riccardi's highly informative new ones.
7. It's complete! I was always somewhat upset by the missing tracks on the original CD issue, so to have these restored, plus four brand new ones is amazing. Jack Armstrong Blues alone is worth the price of the set!
I cannot recommend this highly enough, 5 stars doesn't do it justice.
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First, to address a complaint below about packaging. If you're worried that the cardboard will scratch your CD, slide each one into a plastic sleeve to protect it. Done.

Now for the real review: The 2 CD's come in a small hard-cover booklet that contains 25 pages of commentary and pictures. And that's just the packaging! Like I said, wow!

When I played the first song, I was worried because I heard a good bit of hiss and pop, but Lordy, when Louis and the All-Stars get cranking on Muskrat Ramble, the first full song of the set, the reproduction is clear, clear. For example, Arvell Shaw's bass comes through better than on any other All-Stars CD I own. You'll have a hard time believing this is a live recording of a 1947 concert.

And what a concert! Almost 30 songs. Beautiful.
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This is a wonderful jazz album! I saw a different lineup of the All-Stars a few years later than this performance and it was something that has stuck in my memory as one of the most memorable of experiences. Unfortunately I didn't see Big Sid Catlett on the drums (not that Barrett Deems was all that bad). This is a seminal performance by the Armstrong All-Stars, trust me. It illustrates the Armstrong All-Star band at a time when it was at its apex. Barney Bigard was amazing. Dick Cary on piano was one of the more unique pianists that Armstrong corralled. Louis, of course, was Louis. The only reason for not giving it five stars is that at a couple of points in the performance the audio gets a little scratchy to the point that it is irritatingly noticeable.
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