Hot Fives & Hot Sevens
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
After parting from King Oliver, Armstrong embarked on an intensive series of recordings with the Hot Five and then with the Hot Seven. He stunned the musical world with unprecedented recorded displays of virtuosity and emotion remastered here to near perfect quality the extent of Armstrong's gifts can be judged for the firt time in ninety years. The notes are informative and expert. Small wonder that the New York Times dubbed this compilation The Recording of the Millenium..
Between 1925 and 1929, Louis Armstrong created one of the first great bodies of work in jazz. While he worked regularly as a soloist with big bands, he began his career as a leader with the first all-star studio group in jazz, the Hot Five. The other four musicians were Armstrong's wife, Lil Hardin Armstrong, on piano; Johnny Dodds on clarinet; Kid Ory on trombone; and Johnny St. Cyr on banjo. The music's first great soloist, Armstrong was reshaping jazz by sheer improvisational magic, gradually diminishing the role of the traditional New Orleans ensemble with the clarion brilliance of his trumpet. Possessing an uncanny blend of exuberance and creativity, he combined virtuosic declarations with a talent for the subtlest shifts in phrasing and melodic variation, creating rich emotional statements that could hint at loss in the midst of joy or the promise of better things in the most sorrowful blues. The band expands here, to the Hot Seven and larger ensembles, and it gains soloists who applied Armstrong's lessons to their own instruments--musicians such as pianist Earl Hines and trombonist Jack Teagarden--but all come under the imprint of Armstrong's flowering genius, as both trumpeter and singer.
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 was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Well, this changed all that. This is a SUPERB SOUNDING collection of Armstrong's most important and most groundbreaking work, from the early Hot Fives through some big band works of the thirties. Let's mention again the superb sound quality (for the period) attained by the JSV crew (as usual). All the early hits are there, e.g., "West End Blues," "Muggles," etc., but the real joy is finding the gems on your own.
Good liner notes come with each CD; while there's no lavish book as with many other box sets --look at the price!!! I wish more producers would come out with such excellent recordings of outstanding works at a reasonable price. These are pieces you can listen to over and over again, enjoying Armstrong's amazingly inventive solos (!) and incredible power. He revolutionized the music of the giants before him, and provided the syntax, vocabulary, and inspiration for those who came later. Treat yourself to this outstanding set!
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.
Compared to the Columbia's on a high resolution system, - revolving around Pass / Class A amplification & ribbon speakers & excellent D/A conversion) they are somewhat more midrange rich ..which nicely fleshes out timbers & serves piano work extemely well! The Columbia's are tipped up some, but serve attacks & transients perhaps more incisively...but are somewhat more strident & wearing.
In talking to the informative Phil Shapp about his thoughts on this matter, & he worked on the Columbia's ), he said, " they were very close " as well. Both serve the music beautifully & show different aspects. R.T Davies worked from 78s , Phil mostly from metal & other. Phil also added that "Both recent sets have been further filtered". He also said "he had recently compared King Of The Zulus & thought the Columbia( now SONY just edged out the JSP". I feel that some of these JSPs are better & ....six of one....overall. These tranfers are just excellent by any measure!!!
Here ......It's the music that counts most, ...& it's transcendent, & one of the greatest achievments of American Art or any Art for that matter,...... period!!!
Liner notes could be much more generous - but this set has the goods, & at a bargin price.
This collection represents his early years and the some of the most sensitive, foot tappin' - foot stompin' music that was the beginning of a music style that remains as one of THE most uniquely American styles of music recoginized around the world.
Preservation Hall, The Dukes of Dixieland, Pete Foutain, and so many others followed Louis Armstrong's style of arrangement in their own styles to the great benifit of us all.
Wish I could get all of the 78's records that make up this collection.
in itself is extremely well performed. I think that these recordings should
be in every record-collector's and jazz-enthusiast record collection.
A must own.