- Released: February 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
JazzTimes - 8/97, p.79
"...there are three previously unissued rehearsal sequences, his interview with Handy, and Armstrong telling his famous alligator joke. What makes this a genuine classic is the playing and singing of the leader, who clearly had a great affection for Handy's compositions..."
- 1.St. Louis Blues
- 2.Yellow Dog Blues
- 3.Loveless Love
- 4.Aunt Hagar's Blues
- 5.Long Gone (From The Bowlin' Green)
- 6.The Memphis Blues (Or Mister Crump)
- 7.Beale Street Blues
- 8.Ole Miss Blues
- 9.Chantez Les Bas (Sing 'Em Low)
- 10.Hesitating Blues
- 11.Atlanta Blues (Make Me One Pallet On Your Floor)
- 12.George Avakian's Interview With W.C. Handy - W.C. Handy
- 13.Loveless Love (Rehearsal Sequence)
- 14.Hesitating Blue (Rehearsal Sequence)
- 15.Alligator Story
- 16.Long Gone (From The Bowlin' Green) (Rehearsal Sequence)
Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Velma Middleton (vocals); Trummy Young (trombone); Barney Bigard (clarinet); Billy Kyle (piano); Arvell Shaw (bass); Barrett Deems (drums).
Compilation producer: George Avakian.
Recorded on July 12-14, 1954 & October 19, 1956. Includes liner notes by George Avakian.
This wonderful and historically monumental recording pairs the master of jazz trumpet and jazz singing with "the father of the blues." In the early years of the 20th century, composer W.C. Handy authored many blues numbers, some of which have gone on not only to become enduring standards in the genre, but also to influence a vast repertoire of popular music.
Armstrong, who achieved some of his earliest successes with treatments of Handy favorites, is in superior form on this recording. Perhaps due to Handy's presence at the sessions (the booklet is full of wonderful photos of the two), Satch seems even more focused and full of enthusiasm than usual. With excellent support from a band that includes Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), and Velma Middleton (vocals), Armstrong and Co. interpret such Handy favorites as "The Memphis Blues," "Beale Street Blues," and the immortal "St. Louis Blues." The CD appends five previously unreleased tracks and an interview with Handy, making this set immeasurably worthwhile, in terms of both historic importance and entertainment value.