A wonderful pairing of jazz giant Louis Armstrong with revered father of the blues composer W.C. Handy. These historic sessions from 1954 and 1956 include St. Louis Blues; Loveless Love , plus five previously unreleased tracks.
William Christopher Handy (Alabama, 1873-1958) was a musician and composer, considered by his work among the most influential in America. It was called 'The Father of the Blues' because, although it was not the first to publish music in that style, he managed to raise it to be one of the dominant styles of American music. Louis Armstrong also felt a deep connection with the 'blues'. He made this album in 1954 with the collaboration of Handy and accompanied by his best musical training, the 'All Stars' (Barney Bigard on clarinet, Trummy Young on trombone, Arvell Shaw on bass, Billy Kyle on piano, Barrett Deems on drums and the great voice of Velma Middleton).
A wonderful meeting of two institutions of American music, this 1954 album was the finest recording of Louis Armstrong's later career, with the great trumpeter-singer turning to material that was very close to his roots. Both W.C. Handy and Armstrong had a complex relationship with the blues, an essential source for both Handy's popular songs and Armstrong's improvisational art, and these recordings touch on the heart of the matter. On "Yellow Dog Blues," a product of Handy's own early and chance encounter with the rural blues, there's a majesty that recalls Armstrong's early recordings with Bessie Smith. ~ Amazon
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were (and are) two of the main stems of jazz. Any way you look at it, just about everything that's ever happened in this music leads directly – or indirectly – back to them. Both men were born on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, and each became established as a leader during the middle '20s. …
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington were (and are) two of the main stems of jazz. Any way you look at it, just about everything that's ever happened in this music leads directly – or indirectly – back to them. Both men were born on the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries, and each became established as a leader during the middle '20s. Although their paths had crossed from time to time over the years, nobody in the entertainment industry had ever managed to get Armstrong and Ellington into a recording studio to make an album together. On April 3, 1961, producer Bob Thiele achieved what should be regarded as one of his greatest accomplishments; he organized and supervised a seven-and-a-half-hour session at RCA Victor's Studio One on East 24th Street in Manhattan, using a sextet combining Duke Ellington with Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars. This group included ex-Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard, ex-Jimmie Lunceford swing-to-bop trombonist Trummy Young, bassist Mort Herbert, and drummer Danny Barcelona. A second session took place during the afternoon of the following day.
Louis Armstrong… the most important, influential, and beloved musician of the 20 th Century. His trumpet virtuosity set the standard for Jazz improvisation, and his singing style forever altered the course of jazz and popular vocalists, affecting everyone from Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra, to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. From the teeming streets of New Orleans to the great concert halls of Europe, Louis "Satchmo" and finally plain ol' "Pops" Armstrong entertained everyone… from the Roaring Twenties' gin mills to the Queen of England.