The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions 1935-1946

By Hilgart, Art | IAJRC Journal, September 2009 | Go to article overview

The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions 1935-1946


Hilgart, Art, IAJRC Journal


The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions 1935-1946

Mosaic MD7-243 [(203) 327-7111]

Complete personnel and discography at mosaicrecords.com.

Seven discs, 168 tracks (including 31 alternate takes). Total time 8:15:31

In his life, Louis Armstrong blended three careers. One of the finest and most influential musicians of the twentieth century, his ingratiating voice and phrasing pleased the general public and influenced many singers, contemporaries and those who followed them, and he was always an entertainer. He never compromised his music, but in performance, on radio, and in the movies he clearly enjoyed giving authences a good time. His duets with Velma Middleton were packed with humor- I saw her do the splits at the Blue Note- and the band would cry and moan during "New Orleans Function". His duet with Danny Kaye in "The Five Pennies" is a classic example of his pleasure in inspired clowning. All of these qualities are present in this welcome compilation.

All but the final nine postwar tracks in the set were recorded in 1935-1942, and they include all of his recordings as leader of the big band- essentially led by its pianist, Luis Russell- which he formed after a two-year stay in Europe. Most feature Armstrong as both soloist and singer. In his early years he was mostly a sideman or a journeyman playing and recording with ad hoc ensembles, and after 1946, he led his All Stars for a quarter century. The importance of the Hot Five and Seven recordings in the 'twenties and the later All Stars have eclipsed these years in which he was Decca's most important artist (along with Bing Crosby), recording a two-sided single almost every month. As Dan Morgenstern observes in his invariably excellent notes, the obscurity is wholly undeserved.

In his 1936 autobiography, "Swing that Music" (written with a ghost writer), Armstrong distinguishes "jazz" from "swing": he identifies the former as the music played by the traditional instrumentation of the Nick LaRocca and King Oliver bands, while he implies that swing is based on extended improvised solos. He might have added that swing flows more smoothly and is mostly 4/4 rather than two-beat. On these records one can hear subtle changes in the post-Europe Armstrong solos. His intonation is a bit more mellow, and his phrases are somewhat longer. A comparison of his 1938 version of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" with his 1929 classic on Okeh shows the difference. Although not all the songs here are prime, the trumpet solos are invariably so. On the earliest of these records, the Russell orchestra delivers serviceable background, but the arrangements start swinging in 1936. Before 1937, nearly all the solos are Armstrong's- from then on he also gives space to others, especially to J. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions 1935-1946
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.