Louis Armstrong Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
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- Released: July 8, 2008
- Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
Rolling Stone - 12/29/94-1/12/95, p.180"...[PORTRAIT] has so many moments of beauty and originality that singling out performances would only slight dozens of other masterpieces....Armstrong...in his glory..."
Down Beat - 1/95, p.474.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "...PORTRAIT is an excellent introduction for the uninitiated..."
Vibe - 4/95, p.98"...the modern origins of our precious swing culture--not just the rhythmic side of swing but the suave dimensions of flava as well....Because he brought both supreme craftsmanship and extroverted showmanship to his performances, [he] made people identify the music with both high-minded intentions and a rompin' stompin' good time..."
Musician - 1-2/95, p.76"...There probably ought to be a neon sign over this boxed set in the record store: "Start Here." Not just to learn about jazz, but to appreciate the broad evolutionary arch of twentieth-century popular music..."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #1 on the Reissues list of the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Jazziz - 2/95, p.94"...this set serves as a perfect introduction to the genius of Louis Armstrong..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Chimes Blues
- 2.Snake Rag
- 4.Texas Moaner Blues
- 5.Everybody Loves My Baby
- 6.Naughty Man
- 7.Changeable Daddy of Mine
- 8.Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage?
- 9.Good Time Flat Blues
- 10.Cake Walking Babies from Home
- 11.Pickin' on Your Baby
- 12.St. Louis Blues
- 13.Sobbin' Hearted Blues
- 14.Papa De - Da - Da
- 15.Sugar Foot Stomp
- 16.Alone at Last
- 17.T. N. T
- 18.You Can't Shush Katie (The Gabbiest Girl in Town)
- 19.Low Land Blues
- 20.Gut Bucket Blues
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Listen to Ma
- 2.Heebie Jeebies
- 3.Cornet Chop Suey
- 4.Stomp off, Let's Go
- 5.Bridwell Blues
- 6.King of the Zulus
- 7.Skid - Dat - De - Dat
- 8.Big Butter and Egg Man
- 9.Pleadin' for the Blues
- 10.Wild Man Blues
- 11.Chicago Breakdown
- 12.Potato Head Blues
- 13.Weary Blues
- 14.Gully Low Blues
- 15.Put 'Em Down Blues
- 16.Struttin' With Some Barbecue
- 17.Hotter Than That
- 18.Savoy Blues
- 19.Too Busy!
- 20.Skip the Gutter
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 1.Monday Date
- 2.West End Blues
- 3.Two Deuces
- 4.Symphonic Raps
- 5.Basin Street Blues
- 6.No One Else But You
- 7.Beau Koo Jack
- 8.Weather Bird
- 10.I Must Have That Man!
- 11.Tight Like This
- 12.Knockin' a Jug
- 13.I Can't Give You Anything But Love
- 14.Mahogany Hall Stomp
- 15.To Be in Love
- 16.Ain't Misbehavin'
- 17.Black and Blue
- 18.That Rhythm Man
- 19.When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
- 20.St. Louis Blues [Alternate Take B]
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.Song of the Islands
- 2.My Sweet
- 3.I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
- 4.Standin' on the Corner [Blue Yodel No. 9]
- 5.I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)
- 6.I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)
- 7.Memories of You
- 8.Sweethearts on Parade
- 9.When It's Sleepy Time Down South
- 10.Blue Again
- 11.When Your Lover Has Gone
- 12.Lazy River
- 13.Chinatown, My Chinatown
- 15.Stardust [Alternate Take]
- 16.Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
- 17.I've Got the World on a String
- 18.Basin Street Blues
- 19.On the Sunny Side of the Street, Pt. 1
- 20.On the Sunny Side of the Street, Pt. 2
- 21.Song of the Vipers
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN contains 81 songs and includes an 80-page book with comprehensive liner notes, rare and unseen photos from Armstrong's personal collection, original 78 label art and other period memorabilia.
Personnel includes: Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, Maggie Jones, Bessie Smith, Clarence Williams, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, Earl "Fatha" Hines.
Includes liner notes by Dan Morgenstern and Loren Schoenberg.
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN: 1923-1934 won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes. It was nominated for Best Historical Album.
This magnificent Grammy Award-winning box set offers plenty of value to longtime fans and neophytes alike. While many highlights from PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN may be found on individual Columbia Louis Armstrong discs (as well as the Bessie Smith and Fletcher Henderson boxes), this chronological portrait of the young genius also includes many of the trumpeter's rarest early works as a sideman. Taken as a whole--with Dan Morgenstern's masterful annotations--they create a fuller musical picture of the man who taught the world to swing...and sing.
These four volumes chronicle young Armstrong's development from his earliest sideman work (with King Oliver, Clarence Williams, Fletcher Henderson and a host of blues and pop singers), through his incredibly influential Hot Five and Hot Seven sides, on to international stardom as a singer and orchestra leader. Also featured are such provocative, seldom-heard collaborations as his bluesy turns with the father of country music, Jimmie Rodgers ("The Singing Brakeman") on "Blue Yodel No. 9."
In this brief space it's impossible to chronicle the countless innovations that derive directly from Louis, and which form our collective rosetta stone of modern music--both pop and jazz. Armstrong transformed everything he touched into a new vocabulary, and as Dan Morgenstern points out, Satchmo's sources weren't limited to blues, spirituals, ragtime, marches and dance music, but the classics as well--particularly opera. In the rush to praise his cornet/trumpet playing, his vocal innovations are often overlooked. On "No One Else But You" he treats the basic beat as a glorious given, and phrases around it in a personalized mix of rap, scat and blues syncopations, displaying a symphonic sense of structure and an operatic feel for the dramatic gesture. And on the classic Fats Waller tunes "Ain't Misbehavin'" (with its sly Gershwin paraphrase) and "(What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue," he achieves a poignant balance of resignation and celebration, topped off by soaring flights of freedom.
No serious devotee of American music can afford to miss such a motherlode of gems, but some of Louis' lesser known tracks are full of surprises as well. On "Texas Moaner Blues" (from 1924) Louis and Sidney Bechet dig in for a rivetting duel, while his 1925 "St. Louis Blues" with Bessie Smith will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. "Gutbucket Blues" and "I'm A Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)" contain the modern jazz germ seed of Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts," and the joyous "Knockin' A Jug" (with trombonist Jack Teagarden and guitarist Eddie Lang) was among the first authentic interracial sessions. Yet it is in his work with lesser lights--such as Maggie Jones ("Anybody Here Want To Try My Cabbage"), Bertha "Chippie" Hill ("Low Land Blues") and Seger Ellis ("To Be In Love," the first interracial band to back a white popular singer)--that Armstrong's true genius shines through, elevating mundane fare into transcendent experiences through sheer force of will. LOUIS ARMSTRONG: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN: 1923-1934 is an essential purchase.
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