Louis Armstrong - Live in Australia
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One of the few complete concert performances of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, this live recording features the legendary jazz trumpeter and singer on an Australian tour in 1964, when he had already become an international superstar and a living symbol of 20th-century American culture. As a founding father of jazz he revolutionized the world of music and became one of the most influential artists and entertainers ever. The impressive structure of his melodic ideas and the radiant sonorities and flawless technique of his trumpet playing all marked him out as jazz's first soloist of genius. Louis Armstrong set new standards for swing feeling, improvisation, scat singing and command of his instrument, but also for stage presence and entertainment, providing a model for performers in virtually every field of jazz and on every conceivable instrument. With his All Stars sextet, which he formed in the wake of the Second World War, he acted as an ambassador for jazz, restlessly travelling the world. The present documentary was shot at a time when he succeeded in creating a song that was a minor miracle: Hello Dolly even displaced the Beatles from the number-one position in the charts in 1964, a fact of which Armstrong was unaware as he was touring at the time. Armstrong's associates - among them drummer Danny Barcelona and singer Jewel Brown - were always more than mere extras. Armstrong seldom gave himself a moment's respite, but he had a gift for allowing each of his musicians to display his or her talents to their full advantage in pieces that enabled him to catch his breath and to make his programme more varied. This rare treasure - including such hits as Blueberry Hill, Mack the Knife and songs from the film "High Society" - captures the great man in all his glory as both a jazz pioneer and a peerless entertainer.
A fine performance it is, admirably showcasing both sides of Armstrong's talents (courtesy of a wonderful "Blueberry Hill" and a goose bump-inducing "Basin Street Blues") while also allowing room for his supporting players to shine (Arvell Shaw's bass solo in "How High the Moon" is especially sweet).
The picture quality is as good as you can hope for from a 40 year old tape, and the sound is crisp and clear. This is a valuable document of Armstrong's later career and a must have. -- JamBands.com, June, 2008, Mark Burnell
Four stars. . . It is an absolute must for collectors. -- theskanner.com, Dick Bogle, July 2008
The overall quality of this concert is flawless. Louis Armstrong sings and plays with his usual charisma and passion; and Jewel Brown sings beautifully with great sensitivity on numbers like Did You Hear About Jerry with its Latin cha cha beat and I Left My Heart In San Francisco, another stunning pop vocal. Jewel Brown sings with true feeling and it shows as she gracefully entertains the audience as the musicians play. Wonderful!
The DVD doesn't have special features unless you consider a few trailers for other DVDs a feature. The quality of the print is really rather good although there is a moment here and there when there is very brief scratching on the print. I assume that they cleaned it up as best they could and that this is what we have to accept; but overall it's still a pretty clean print. Louis Armstrong and his band made huge contributions to the arts; and we are all better off for their sharing their talents with us. I highly recommend this for jazz fans and especially for fans of classic jazz. We're very lucky that Aussie TV filmed this and preserved it for posterity. -- Audiophile Audition, Matthew Sherwin, June 2008
This is a nice addition to any Armstrong collection and acts as a time capsule for this 1960s period of his career. -- In The Groove Magazine, Steve Ramm, May 2008
This splendid late-career concert in Australia by New Orleans-born jazz master Louis Armstrong was shot with commendable care...Live in Australia 1964is a great document of the gravel-toned singer and trumpeter and his mid-'60s era group, which included long-time drummer Danny Barcelona, show-stopping bassist Arvell Shaw and singer Jewel Brown. -- Baton Rouge Advocate, John Wirt, August 1, 2008
This splendid late-career concert in Australia by New Orleans-born jazz master Louis Armstrong was shot with commendable care. Featuring Armstrong standards "Blueberry Hill," "Basin Street Blues," "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," "Mack the Knife" and "When the Saints Go Marching In," Live in Australia 1964 is a great document of the gravel-toned singer and trumpeter and his mid-'60s era group, which included long-time drummer Danny Barcelona, show-stopping bassist Arvell Shaw and singer Jewel Brown.
Ironically, Armstrong's 1964 hit "Hello Dolly!" isn't included, perhaps because the world-traveling Armstrong was unaware the record had reached No. 1 in the United States. -- Baton Rouge Advocate, John Wirt, August 2008
You'll be putty in the hands of the twentieth century's consummate entertainer from the first unmistakable trumpet notes of "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" to the final jubilant bars of "When the Saints Go Marching In." Although it's only 45 minutes long, and documents a show that Satchmo and his peerless quintet--each of whom gets his moment of glory--performed countless times, this delightfully frill-free DVD nonetheless offers an intimate glimpse into the soul of America's preeminent jazz ambassador. Heck, I'd pick it up for singer Jewel Brown's two songs --"Did You Hear About Jerry" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"--alone. -- AARP.org, Richard Gehr, June 2008
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Were it not for Jewel's retirement from the music world, Tony Bennett would have to move over.
The following is a quote from my 2008 review:
Louis Armstrong's career was a history of jazz and for the last 24 years of his life he settled into the six-member "All Stars" format for his band. Some of the members changed over the years, while others - like pianist Billy Kyle and bassist Arvell Shaw - stayed through most of the era. This DVD - of an hour-long 1964 concert. Louis Armstrong All Stars Live in Australia 1964 (Euroarts)- was recorded on tape for TV broadcast. It is a typical All Stars show of the period with standards like "Basin Street Blues" mixed with two songs from the film High Society. Satchmo's biggest hit, "Hello Dolly", had not been released yet but "Mack The Knife" is there. Long time clarinetist Barney Bigard was now replaced by Joe Darensbourg (who never shows any emotion on his face) and much-slimmer vocalist Jewel Brown takes over for the long-time Velma Middleton. Armstrong gives each member extended solos (unfortunately, he actually does more vocalizing than playing). The camera work is sharp and the sound is adequate - though not exactly "high fidelity". This is a nice addition to any Armstrong collection and acts as a time capsule for this 1960s period of his career.
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Not content to basically define Jazz since its inception, Louis toured the world as its ambassador for four decades.Read more
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