Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet, cornet); Louis Armstrong; Louis Jordan (vocals, alto saxophone); Trummy Young (vocals, trombone); Tony Gottuso, Bud Scott (guitar, banjo); Dave Barbour, Maceo Jefferson, Perry Botkin and His Orchestra, Everett Barksdale, Allen Hanlon, Willard Suyker, Lee Blair, Herb Ellis, Lawrence Lucie, Art Ryerson, Bill Jennings, Carl Kress, Carmen Mastren (guitar); Mancy Carr, Alfred di Lernia, Johnny St. Cyr (banjo); Sam Markowitz (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Jerome Richardson (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone); Daniel Trimboli (flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Rupert Cole (clarinet, reeds, alto saxophone); Bingie Madison (clarinet, reeds, tenor saxophone); Lester Boone, Edmond Hall, Sid Stoneburn, Peter DuConge, Milt Yaner, Charlie Holmes (clarinet, alto saxophone); Freddy Williams, Barney Bigard, Bill Stegmeyer, Al Klink (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Johnny Dodds (clarinet, tuba); Joe Muranyi, Jimmy Strong, Joe Darensbourg, Buster Bailey (clarinet); Joe Garland (reeds, tenor saxophone); Charlie Holms, Carl Frye, Albert Nicholas (reeds); Warren Baker, Jack Chaney, Larry Wright, Phillip Shuken, Babe Russin (saxophone); Hymie Schertzer (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Henry Jones, Dick Jacobs, Jules Rubin, Hilton Jefferson, Johnny Mince, Sid Cooper, George Dorsey (alto saxophone); Bill Holcombe, Pat Nizza (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Arthur Rollini, Alfred Pratt, Babe Fresk, Melvin Tax, Art Drelinger, Lucky Thompson, Josh Jackson, Greely Walton (tenor saxophone); Paul Ricci, Dave McRae (baritone saxophone); Andrew Ferretti, Clark Terry, Carl Poole, Melvin "Red" Solomon, Bobby Guy , Frank Galbraith, Bernard Flood, Bob Cusmano, Leslie Thompson, Gus Aiken, Gene Prince, Jackie Hamilton, Louis Bacon, Aaron Izenhall, Joe Wilder, Paul Webster, Red Nichols, Yank Lawson, Ziggy Elman, Zilner Randolph, Billy Butterfield, Shelton Hemphill, Bernie Privin (trumpet); Al Philburn, Henderson Chambers, Dick Taylor , Lionel Guimaraes, Wendell Mayhew, Phil Giardina, George Washington , Norman Greene, Fred "Rodriguez" Robinson, Harry White, John Thomas , J.C. Higginbotham, J.J. Johnson , Jack Satterfield, Jack Teagarden, Bill Atkinson , Jimmy Archey, Kid Ory, Lou McGarity, Tyree Glenn, Urbie Green, Wilbur De Paris, Will Bradley, Cutty Cutshall, Preston Jackson, Mort Bullman (trombone); Paul "Scooby" Smith, Charlie Alexander , Dick Cary, Nat Jaffe, Hank Jones , Herman Chittison, Lil Armstrong, Luis Russell, Marty Napoleon, Mel Henke, Oscar Peterson, Bernie Leighton, Billy Kyle , Bill Doggett, Buddy Cole, Earl Hines, Charlie Beal (piano); Danny Barcelona, Oliver Tines, Minor Hall, Kenny John , Ed Grady, Jimmy Crawford , Joe Morris , Louie Bellson, Nick Fatool, Paul Barbarin, Sam Weiss, Big Sid Catlett, Baby Dodds, Tubby Hall, Barrett Deems, Zutty Singleton, Norris "Bunny" Shawker, Johnny Blowers (drums); Warren Hard (percussion); Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby (vocals); Duke Ellington (piano).
Liner Note Author: Bob Porter.
Recording information: Chicago, IL (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Crescendo Club, Los Angeles, CA (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Hollywood, CA (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Las Vegas, NV (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Los Angeles, CA (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); New York, NY (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Paris, France (02/26/1926-07/23/1968); Symphony Hall, Boston, MA (02/26/1926-07/23/1968).
Photographers: Herb Snitzer; Jack Bradley; Paul J. Hoeffler.
Arrangers: Tommy Goodman; Gordon Jenkins; John Scott Trotter; Luis Russell; Russell Garcia ; Sy Oliver; Toots Camarata; Zilner Randolph; Bob Haggart.
We all know Satchmo wrote the rulebook--not only for jazz, but for much of the swinging, raucous, good-time aesthetic of 20th-century popular music. The two-disc GOLD series usually does a commendable job rounding up a representative sampling of music's top artists, and while the GOLD treatment of Louis Armstrong skimps more than it should on his early recordings, it is still a vital, totally entertaining listen from back to front.
There are plenty of the showtunes and popular songs Armstrong spent the latter half of his career delivering in his lovable growl ("Cabaret;" "Hello Dolly"), but the classic instrumentals ("Saint Louis Blues;" "Potato Head Blues") are also here, showing off Satch's dazzling horn chops. Serious jazz fans will want to explore Armstrong early discography (the HOT FIVES AND SEVENS recordings, in particular), but GOLD should satisfy most anyone looking for a dose from the master.