Personnel includes: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Les Hite (leader, alto & baritone saxophones); Leon Elkins (leader, trumpet); Velma Middleton, Carmen McCrae (vocals); Albert Nicholas, Charlie Holmes, Marvin Johnson (alto saxophone); Charlie Jones (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Teddy Hill (tenor saxophone); George Orendorff, Harold Scott (trumpet); Luther Graven, J.C. Higgenbotham, Trummy Young (trombone); Reggie Jones (tuba); Barney Bigard (clarinet); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone, drums); Luis Russell, Billy Kile, Henry Price, Joe Turner, Dave Brubeck (piano); Eddie Condon (banjo); Lonnie Johnson (guitar); Pops Foster, Arvell Shaw, Joe Bailey, Gene Wright, Mort Herbert (bass); Paul Barbarin, Barrett Deems, Joe Morello (drums).
Producers include: George Avakian, Richard M. Jones, Tommy Rockwell, Bob Stevens, The Monterey Festival.
Compilation producer: Nedra Olds-Neal.
Recorded between 1929 & 1961.
Digitally remastered by Darcy Proper, Sony Music Studios, New York, New York.
Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Velma Middleton, Carmen McRae (vocals); Bill Perkins (guitar, banjo); Lonnie Johnson, Bernard Addison (guitar); Ceele Burke (steel guitar, banjo); Eddie Condon (banjo); Bobby Holmes (clarinet, alto saxophone); Charlie Jones , Castor McCord (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Peanuts Hucko, Barney Bigard (clarinet); Les Hite (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Leon Herriford, Willie Stark, Albert Nicholas, Marvin Johnson, Charlie Holmes (alto saxophone); William Franz, Teddy Hill (tenor saxophone); Ed Anderson , George Orendorff, Harold Scott, Leon Elkins (trumpet); J.C. Higginbotham, Henry Hicks, Luther Graven, Lawrence Brown , Trummy Young (trombone); Lavert Hutchinson, Reginald Jones (tuba); Henry Prince, Dave Brubeck, Joe Turner, Luis Russell, Billy Kyle , Buck Washington (piano); Lionel Hampton (vibraphone, drums); Danny Barcelona, Willie Lynch, Joe Morello, Paul Barbarin, Barrett Deems (drums).
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Art Maillet.
This 15-song compilation of performances emphasizes Armstrong's vocals and romantic material. Although the material spans 1929 to 1961, because of what Columbia has access to, the chronological balance is skewed; half a dozen tracks were done between 1929 and 1930, and the rest between 1955 and 1961, leaving a large gap between the two periods. It remains a rather pleasing and effective sampler of Armstrong's most accessible qualities. The later cuts include five numbers from his Fat Waller tribute album Satch Plays Fats, and two cuts from his The Real Ambassadors Album with Carmen McRae and the Dave Brubeck Trio. Velma Middleton adds vocals to a few songs, including the sole unreleased performance "Ko Ko Mo, I Love You So" from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. ~ Richie Unterberger