Louis Armstrong: The Decca Years - JazzWax

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August 07, 2009


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Michael Steinman

The trouble with box sets -- not only jazz ones -- is that they thrust too much music at the listener, who then begins to feel like a junior high school student facing an immense math assignment, a truckload of problems. I never heard these records on 78, but was exposed to them one lp at a time, and was thus able to appreciate their particular virtues. Come back to this set in a year's time, Marc, and check out the 1941 small-band tracks, the sessions with the Mills Brothers, ON A COCOANUT ISLAND, the 1939 WOLVERINE BLUES . . . there's more here than can fit in any single theory of Louis, Kapp, Glaser, and changing tastes. Cheers as always!

Red Colm O'Sullivan

This box must include his "Swing That Music", climaxing with the legendary 40 consecutive high Cs - the most noble account of the human spirit on record, and my favorite Armstrong solo. But, are there any tracks, at all, with Dexter Gordon in the section?

Georges E. Mathys

that's my home

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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