Louis Armstrong

1924-1925, Vol. 4

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For those who can't or won't spring for the Masters of Jazz label's five-CD set devoted to Louis Armstrong's first two years as a recording artist, Vol. 4 contains quite a number of interactions with a vibrant assortment of female blues and jazz vocalists. The disc documents Armstrong's activity over just a few weeks, from late November 1924 through the first week of 1925, as a member of the Red Onion Jazz Babies, and Clarence Williams' Blue Five. The progression in this part of the chronology is particularly rich and rewarding. Sippie Wallace was near the beginning of her lengthy career, and Alberta Hunter's expressive contralto was a force with which to be reckoned. The Maggie Jones selections have a magical charm all their own, particularly "If I Lose, Let Me Lose (Mamma Don't Mind)," Fats Waller's "Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage?," and Clarence Williams' "Thunderstorm Blues," with its kooky, arcane sound effects. It's easy to picture Margaret Johnson or Eva Taylor entertaining a live theater audience. Taylor is especially moving on "I'm a Little Blackbird (Looking for a Bluebird)," and her spirited vocal on "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" is followed by a startling solo in the basement clef by Sidney Bechet, who discovered a bass sarrusophone in a pawn shop on the way to the recording studio. Undaunted by its size, shape, and double reed, Bechet improvises happily with controlled abandonment, suggesting the tone and temperament of an adult hippopotamus enjoying a warm and sudden cloudburst.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:35
2 2:43
3 2:47
4 2:36
5 2:58
6 2:52
7 3:04
8 3:00
9
feat: Maggie Jones
3:04
10
feat: Maggie Jones
3:17
11
feat: Maggie Jones
3:00
12
feat: Maggie Jones
3:18
13
feat: Maggie Jones
3:13
14
feat: Maggie Jones
3:10
15 3:10
16 3:18
17 2:49
18 2:51
19 3:18
20
feat: Clara Smith
3:10
21
feat: Clara Smith
3:19
22 3:00
23 3:22
blue highlight denotes track pick