The title of this compilation is a bit misleading, as Louis Armstrong only appears on seven of the CD's 20 tracks. All of them were recorded during a visit by the trumpeter to France in 1934 and were made on the sly, since he was under an exclusive contract to another label. The all-stars were primarily European musicians assembled for the session, though pianist Herman Chittison, a fellow American, makes his mark in "Super Tiger Rag," along with the leader's crisp, high-note solo. They compare favorably with some of Armstrong's later work back home with larger orchestras, but for the most part, the music is of minimal interest aside from his contributions…
Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a trumpet virtuoso, his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation. For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles.
Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the key turning points of Louis Armstrong's career occurred at the Town Hall concert fully documented on this two-CD set, a reissue of the earlier two-LP release. Armstrong, who had been leading a big band for 18 years, was showcased with some musical friends who were all very complementary players (including trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Peanuts Hucko and cornetist Bobby Hackett), and the results were so exciting that Armstrong soon broke up his orchestra to form a similar all-star sextet.
For the first time, all of Ella & Louis' classic duets are in one place. This 4CD set gathers their timeless three Verve albums newly remastered versions of Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess combining them with their eight Decca singles, live recordings from Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl plus several alternates & false starts from the Decca & Verve eras, illuminating their craft & good humor. The set also includes an extensive essay by Ricky Riccardi.
Nat Hentoff prefaced his 1956 down beat review of Verve's first Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong collaboration with a prediction: "Ella and Louis is one of the very, very few albums to have been issued in this era of the LP flood that is sure to endure for decades." Today, those sublime performances, along with two subsequent Norman Granz-produced Fitzgerald-Armstrong albums, are regarded as milestones of American music. A dozen gems from these works are presented here.