Hot Fives & Sevens Box set
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It's almost impossible to overrate this material. It may be the most influential music in jazz history, establishing standards for originality and sustained invention that have rarely been matched. The JSP set is a superb reissue of Armstrong's essential work. The remastering is by John R.T. Davies, widely acknowledged as the dean of engineers in the field of early jazz, and the resultant sound is simply the best this work has ever enjoyed. There are alternate takes of the later material on Columbia Legacy (including Louis in New York and St. Louis Blues), so collectors will want both. But this recording is superior listening, at a price that also makes it an ideal introduction to one of the few titans of jazz. --Stuart Broomer
Top Customer Reviews
There is so much to savour on these discs: Louis is superlative throughout this set - hear "Cornet Chop Suey" "Potato Head Blues" and "West End Blues", in particular. Johnny Dodds is superb, incredibly impassioned on "Got No Blues" and elsewhere. The Hot Five swings like crazy on tunes like "Once in a While", and listen to "Skip the Gutter", "Muggles" and "Weatherbird" to hear one of the finest partnerships in jazz history, Armstrong and Hines. Hear also Lonnie Johnson's marvellous guitar playing at the end of the second disc. Louis' singing is heard regularly (and his slide - whistle playing once).
These CDs are also highly recommendable because of the quality of the remastering. The sound quality on the first disc in particular is better than in any other issue of these works, putting larger companies to shame.
These are recordings to hear for a lifetime. No-one buying these will ever regret it.
These recordings feature Armstrong in a period when his trumpet playing received more attention than his singing. He did sing beautifully - as heard on "I am not Rough", "Gully Low Blues" etc. But the trumpet does lead the way. The trumpet on "Tight like That", "West End Blues", "Potatoe head Blues" - what a musical genius it took to produce such music !!! I feel that these recordings have the power to change people's whole view of life - it certainly changed mine.
There are guest appearances by the great blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson, great clarinet from Johnny Dodds, great piano work by Earl Hines, great ensamble playing. I use the word "great" here without fear of misuse - everything here is truly great.
People who are used to Armstrong's later work - Hello Dolly, Blueberry Hill - might need some time to get used to these 1920's recordings. I strongly advise them to make the effort - because the rewards are fantastic.
All tracks are great. I do feel like singling out "Tight like That", "West End Blues", "Potato head blues", "Muggles"
"Mahagoney Hall Stomp", "Cornet Chop Suey", "Hotter Than That"...
I play them to my 4 years old child and she loves it !
The historic importance of these recordings has been correctly mentioned by others. But what it really comes down to is that here is a gift to humanity that we should all share and enjoy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I won't write a tune-by-tune review of these works, because by the time you get to this set you probably already know what you're getting, and if you are unfamiliar with the Hot... Read morePublished 2 months ago by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt
The sound quality is as good as it gets for old recordings such as these. Mr. Armstrong at his strongest. Wonderful addition to any collection.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you are into roots jazz, do not miss this essential collection. It is must-have stuff. And the sound is exceptional. What a fine piece of work. Read morePublished 7 months ago by djm
This is the most amazing recording, considering that this dates back to the mid-1920s. The sound quality is superior - it easily sounds like it could have been done 20-30 years... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Douglas Flummer
Folks' seeming hyperbole about this set is 100% accurate. This is not only ground zero for the popular music and jazz of the next century--it's an absolute blast to listen to. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mark A. Horowitz
Very pleased with the product and the prompt efficient service. I will definitely be using this resource again and would happily recommend it to others.Published 13 months ago by Rob Martin