This is an nice compilation, cherry-picked from a 4-CD box set, which includes several of Satchmo's best takes from the 1930s and 1940s. This is very enjoyable music, although not quite on the same exalted level as the earlier Hot 5 and 7 recordings. It's pretty much Armstrong giving it his all, and his supporting orchestras and smaller groups are OK by me. RCA did a very good job remastering this material (using the Cedar process)--it sounds remarkably bright and clear. Liner notes include a detailed discography and a lengthy essay by respected jazz writer/historian Dan Morgenstern. This disc is certainly worth acquiring if you don't want (or can't find) the complete box set.