Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra

1930-1931

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On May 4, 1930, Louis Armstrong cut a lively version of "Dinah" and a fierce little bit of "Tiger Rag" for the OKeh label in New York. His next recordings were made in Los Angeles several months later. Percussionist Lionel Hampton and trombonist Lawrence Brown, fresh from their tenure with Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders, show up in Armstrong's Sebastian New Cotton Club Orchestra, a tight session band named after a glorified saloon in Culver City. "Memories of You" contains what is said to be Hampton's first recorded solo on the vibraphone. "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)" perfectly demonstrates Armstrong's incredible ability to transform a fairly silly novelty into a glorious jazz performance that still endures even in a jaded age of humorlessness and postmodern cynicism. "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You" is the perfect Louis Armstrong record, packed with warmth, ingenuity, rowdiness, raunchy humor, and red-hot trumpeting. Armstrong also demonstrated a remarkable ability to sing pretty love songs without copping out or diluting any of his wonderful potency. Many people are still ignorant of the fact that he was an accomplished crooner years before maturing into the famous contrabass chortler of the 1950s and '60s.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:20
2 3:12
3 3:11
4 3:17
5 3:26
6 3:42
7 3:17
8 3:11
9 3:24
10 3:20
11 3:09
12 3:33
13 3:15
14 3:17
15 3:07
16 3:07
17 3:21
18 3:09
19 3:09
20 3:11
21 3:03
22 3:06
blue highlight denotes track pick