Louis Armstrong

25 Greatest Hot Fives & Sevens

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The Hot Fives & Sevens are such an enormously important body of work that it seems like it would be impossible to separate wheat from chaff. But, really, would anyone argue that Beethoven's first symphony is as great or important as his ninth? No, and that's exactly why this single-disc collection is so essential. People will argue that even 25 of these masterpieces isn't enough, and they're right in a sense, but the fact is most listeners don't need to own every Hot Five & Seven to appreciate their importance. There's no denying that every single one of them is important, but the greatest of the greats are all here: "Cornet Chop Suey," "Big Butter and Egg Man," "Struttin' With Some Barbeque," "Hotter Than That," "West End Blues," "Basin Street Blues," "St. James Infirmary," and right down the line. Completists can be completists, but just as most listeners probably listen to the same three or four Beethoven symphonies over and over again, most will want to revisit these particular Hot Fives and Sevens over the others -- and that alone puts this in the running for the most essential jazz CD in existence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:53
2 3:14
3 2:29
4 2:58
5 3:01
6 2:56
7 3:05
8 3:08
9 3:00
10 2:53
11 2:59
12 2:57
13 3:02
14 3:15
15 3:00
16 3:01
17 3:28
18 3:06
19 3:16
20 3:11
21 2:57
22
feat: Earl Hines
2:38
23 2:48
24 3:09
25 3:07
blue highlight denotes track pick