But to back up a bit: from his first appearance on records under his own name in through the early s, Armstrong was far and away the most powerful, innovative and swinging of jazz trumpeters. He had to go through a period of beating back some stiff competitors, among them Jabbo Smith, Lee Collins, Bix Beiderbecke and Bubber Miley Freddie Keppard also thought he was competition for Louis, but he never did swing as hardbut Smith disappeared from the New York scene byCollins went back to New Orleans and stayed there, and both Beiderbecke and Miley were dead by Louis took care of the first two by hiring Allen as the lead trumpet for his big band and having his manager, Joe Glaser, represent Hot Lips Page.
There was When Its Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (CD way Glaser was going to let Page overshadow his biggest cash cow. Berigan, who Armstrong always said was his most formidable rival, drank himself out of the picture by By that point, however, we had more modern trumpeters like Roy Eldridge, Harry James, Howard McGhee and Dizzy Gillespie whose work pointed towards an entirely new style.
Like so many New Orleans-born musicians, Armstrong had a sentimental streak a mile wide and a proclivity to believe that New Orleans jazz was the hottest and best. Yet there was an important artistic difference, and only a handful of jazz critics have brought this up in a significant way. They were primarily a backdrop to his solo playing, and this is the way he treated his Hot Five and Hot Seven—as supporting musicians. Louis was fortunate to have a fine When Its Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (CD in his first group, Barney Bigard, as well as two bona-fide jazz geniuses, trombonist Jack Teagarden and pianist Earl Hines, both of whom had played with him in the late s, Hines on a regular basis as part of his later Hot Five.
Ironically, in this later band Hines was relegated to short solos and beating out the rhythm; he did not interact with Armstrong on chase choruses as he had in the earlier band. This led to dissatisfaction on his part and leaving the group inwhen he was replaced by Marty Napoleon. Ironically, Napoleon was given more solo spots than Hines had received, leading to accusations from critics that either Armstrong or his manager, Album), Joe Glaser, feared the competition Hines could provide him.
The opening six tracks from October demonstrate the last vestiges of Armstrong the virtuoso. This was a period when his thing was to hit as many high Cs in a chorus as he possibly could, to the expense of cohesive creation. It stopped in when Armstrong split his lip and it took him nearly a year to recover. From that point on, his playing became a bit less flashy but more artistic.
I never thought too much of Young years ago, but hearing him in these live concert settings I realize that he was really a very fine jazz trombonist of the swing school—not quite on the exalted level of Lawrence Brown, but certainly better than one remembered.
As for Middleton, I never cared for her much on other records, particularly when she tried to sing ballads like I Cried for You, but in the rhythmic songs on this set she is really terrific: relaxed, swinging, sounding much like a female Armstrong. She came to a sad end; while on a tour with the When Its Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (CD in earlyin Sierra Leone, she suffered a stroke and was sent to the hospital where she died a few days later.
She was only 43 years old. By this time the second great All Stars combination was playing, the one with Edmond Hall on clarinet and the vastly underrated Billy Kyle, the former sparkplug of the John Kirby Sextet, on piano. Louis and company are really loose in most of these performances. Honeysuckle Rose 7. Jeepers, Creepers 8. Just You, Just Me 9. Margie My Monday Date Old Man Mose Old Man When Its Sleepy Time Down South - Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (CD Alternate Take Perdido Someday Someday You'll Be Sorry Louis Blues Stardust Stompin' at the Savoy Struttin' with Some Barbecue The Gypsy The Hucklebuck Cheeeek that out dude.
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