LOUIS ARMSTRONG - Young Satchmo - The Birth of A Jazz Genius
CRITICS TOP 10 CHOICE 2014 - Jazz Journal International
This unique compilation of early Armstrong features classic tracks with Bessie Smith,Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver,Clarence Williams and Sidney Bechet. It includes many of the ground-breaking tracks that, with the ambitious influence of his wife Lil, showed the young Armstrong changing the face of jazz.
1. Chimes Blues
3. Mabel’s Dream
5. Everybody Loves My Baby
6. Sugar Foot Stomp
7. I Miss My Swiss
8. Of All The Wrongs You Done To Me
9. Everybody Loves My Baby (take 2)
10. Cakewalking Babies From Home
11. Coal Cart Blues
13. Lucy Long
14. Anybody Here Want To Try My Cabbage?
15. Good Time Flat Blues
16. Reckless Blues
17. Cold In Hand Blues
18. The World’s Jazz Crazy and So Am I
19. Shipwrecked Blues
20. Court House Blues
21. Pleadin’ for the Blues
22. Pratt City Blues Hill
23. Stomp Off, Let’s Go
24. Drop That Sack
25. I’m Goin’ Huntin’
Reviews of This Recording
There are endless Armstrong reissues, many as box sets and in special multi-part compilations, often prepared carefully and deploying the latest in sound restoration technology. Now here’s another one, but with a distinctive premise of its own. Expert annotator and compiler Mike Pointon sets out to document a key period in Armstrong’s development, the four years from April 1923 to April 1927 when 'he began to change the face of jazz, even before he became a bandleader in his own right.' Starting with his first recorded solo on King Oliver’s Chimes Blues and ending with Armstrong’s joyous choruses on I’m Goin’ Huntin’ amid the puttering of Jimmy Bertrand’s washboard, the emphasis is on Satchmo the sideman, so none of his ground-breaking Hot Fives or Sevens are here.
What is here, of course, is the blossoming of a unique talent, once heard never forgotten, every solo marked by rhythmic displacements that immediately make everyone around him seem square. There are a few exceptions among his peers, most notably, Sidney Bechet and their fierce interplay on Cake Walkin’ Babies From Home still makes the rumble in the jungle seem like child’s play. It’s also salutary to be reminded of Louis’s prowess as a blues accompanist, with Fred Longshaw’s mournful harmonium as his companion on Bessie Smith’s Reckless Blues, or his willingness to step out with the vaudeville singers of the day, like Trixie Smith on The World’s Jazz Crazy. Just to hear his introduction to Clara Smith’s Shipwrecked Blues and his answering commentaries as she makes her stately way through the performance is worth the price of admission alone.
Young Louis – he was 22 when he made Chimes Blues – made 83 sessions in the four year period covered by these recordings. Black audiences in Chicago and New York evidently knew his worth – within a few short years, the rest of the world would fall at his feet. A jazz genius, for sure, but an entertainer, too. Peter Vacher
…a cleverly compiled album. This CD has been compiled with extreme care….Louis’ early development has not been well covered with repeat releases. Mike Pointon has shrewdly avoided the much re-issued Hot 5s and 7s and concentrated on gems from Louis’ sideline recordings with singers and pick-up groups or particularly startling tracks by Oliver and Henderson. So unless you’re a complete mouldy fig or a seasoned collector much of the content here will have eluded you…..
Hot News review Spring 2015 Ralph Laing
So what Pointon and Upbeat present here is a very useful collection of the early and seminal work of Armstrong, work that is often overlooked as the name “Armstrong” tends to conjure up “All Stars” for perhaps the majority of jazz fans. Great as that group with its various members was, the foundation, which this CD presents, was being laid in the early work of its leader. Highly recommended. Bert Thompson
These 25 well-chosen pieces from Armstrong's first four years of recording tell a fascinating story....it's one of the most exciting moments in the whole of recorded jazz. Dave Gelly - Jazz Journal
There isn't another band in existence with the same broad, undogmatic, sunny approach to jazz - more's the pity. The Observer, (Dave Gelly), May 24, 2009