Hot Fives and Sevens Box set, Original recording remastered
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Louis Armstrong: Hot Fives & Sevens - Vol. 2
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The ultimate recordings of one of the greatest legends in jazz history, available as a 4CD box set and at a budget price. This set has received the highest accolades from The Penguin Guide To Jazz and The Gramophone Jazz Guide. All four CDs have been remastered to the best possible sound quality by the amazing John R.T. Davies.
Fact: Some 70-plus years ago, Louis Armstrong was bigger than the Beatles. Fact: Louis' record sales provided the seed money for some of today's great communications empires. Fact: Pops' startling trumpet prowess and ingratiating vocals transformed the phrasing of every instrumentalist and vocalist on earth--and these are the sessions that started it all. Having performed as the second cornet with spiritual father Joe "King" Oliver's legendary New Orleans band, he turned everybody's head in New York during his stint with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra in 1924. Then, at wife Lil Hardin's insistence, he returned to Chicago in 1925, which led to the first of his super sessions for the Okeh label--fronting an all-star band assembled just for the studio. Even amid the traditional New Orleans polyphony and ensemble work of "Gut Bucket Blues", the sheer power of Armstrong's cornet pulls along the rest of the band like a locomotive (and in setting the infectious closing riff, he not only anticipates the swing era but Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts"). By the time we get to the 1926 sessions, featuring his innovative "scat singing" on "Heebie Jeebies" and his dynamic stop-time phrases on "Cornet Chop Suey", Louis Armstrong is well on his way to transforming jazz into a soloist's art, and himself into the most influential musician of the 20th century. --Chip Stern
Top customer reviews
Considering the crass rhetoric and posturing of much of modern music and its personalities this is a refreshing and much needed window into bygone age of fantastic artistry which heralded the burgeoning maturity of Jazz.
A rich, most thoroughly recommended, and memorable Package at a brilliant price.
Very Highly Recommended !
John R.T Davies remastered these sides. There ought to be a monument to that man too, or an award in his name, for services to great music.
The liner notes are detailed enough without becoming too wordy. In short, this is a package to treasure.
I still have two "hot five" and "hot seven" audio tapes (Vol II i Vol III) bought in the late 1980s (edition "CBS masterpieces") and they also sound pretty good (and I didn't drink no gin... sorry for the lame "Monday Date" joke).
Basically, all I can say is, these cds sound great on my quite average cd player, confirming everything I have known about Armstrong before (and about Johnny Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Baby Dodds, Kid Ory , Lonnie Johnson and others,
while I must admit I'm only starting to get (and enjoy) Earl Hines.
Aditional, non hot five and non hot seven tracks certainly augment my understanding of Satchmo and his golden era, with adittional thrill of Jack Teagarden, Eddie Lang or Hoagy Carmichael on some tracks.
Admittedly, discs 3 and 4 contain some (commercial) duds, but the amount of brilliant music in this box is amazing...
Just listen to the first, best or at least seminal versions of songs such as "Struttin' with some barbicue", "West End Blues", "Potato Head Blues", "S.O.L. Blues", "Fireworks", "Ain't Misbehavin", "Knockin' the Jug"; "St. James Infirmary"....
BTW, it is important to know that many songs that have the word "blues" in their title don't really belong to that category... Just as the term jazz in the 20s didn't mean the same thing it means today.
In very informative liner notes we read about banjoist Mancy Carr, while the song listing gives his name as Cara; if I remember my CBS Jazz masterpieces liner notes correctly, "Cara" was an early misprint that snowballed into the future decades.
The only real fault of this cd box- names of authors of the songs are sometimes listed in the liner notes, there's no complete list... Ofcourse, some songs are by Ory, some by Lil Hardin/Armstorng, some by King Oliver, some by Fats Waller, but it would be nice to have the data next to the song title. But, the performers (and date) listing is complete.
Many people think that he sold out in his later years and their is some justification for this view in that he was recorded in some pretty sterile settings, but he never lost he love of music making and entertaining.
These are the recording where Armstrong really took wings and made his mark. The another high point of his career is his recordings with Ella Fitzgerald back by Oscar Peterson (whose importance in that particular bit of musical alchemy often gets overlooked)and represents the popular face of Armstrong that many of us are most familiar with but the Hot Fives and Sevens recordings are pure magic and in the context of their era were as startling and new as Parker and Coltrane were in theirs. It is a great shame that many people feel the need to stick to one kind of jazz (what ever "jazz" as a label means). I simply love this music.
1. These four CDs contain what are without question the finest recordings in all jazz
2. The remastering was done by the late John R T Davies who ought to have received a Nobel prize for his work
But, of course, you know this already, because you already own this box set. You don't?? WHY NOT???
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