The Louis Armstrong Collection Vol. 1: The First Decade 1923-32
Catalogue Number: FADCD2049
Louis Armstrong was without question one of the most important artists in the development of jazz – his technical skill, his powerful presence and his improvisational genius was such that his peers rapidly recognised him as a model, and his work helped shape the way the language of jazz evolved over the years. From quite early in his career, from the late ‘30s onwards, he became an entertainer who transcended the genres, appearing in many films, and acquiring a role and relevance outside pure jazz, although his influence continued to pervade the way the music was performed, especially during the New Orleans revival of the ‘50s and ‘60s. This collection, however, focuses on that first key decade, when he helped shift the emphasis from collective improvisation to virtuoso solo performance simply through the power and quality of his contribution to the ensembles he played with and led. It includes some of his first recordings as part of the hugely important King Oliver Creole Jazz Band along with selected recordings with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra and Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, before drawing most particularly on his landmark recordings with his Hot Five and Hot Seven, which are such an important element of the entire jazz canon. The final section of the collection comprises recordings with his orchestra during the early ‘30s as he developed his technique further and established his role as a singer and entertainer as much as virtuoso trumpeter and cornettist. It’s a great value 48-track 2-CD set at budget price, which provides an insight into a vital formative decade of jazz.