Louis Armstrong

Anthology 1945-1955

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During the ten years immediately following the Second World War, Louis Armstrong pursued two distinct musical paths; he established his traditional New Orleans-styled All-Stars while making quite a number of big-band recordings that sometimes veered away from tradition towards utter absolute mainstream pop. Cabu's Louis Armstrong anthology examines 42 selections recorded between January 1945 and September 1955. Eight of these were issued as by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra, and 32 found Armstrong backed by ensembles under the leadership of Gordon Jenkins, Sy Oliver, Jack Pleiss, Sonny Burke, Toots Camarata and Benny Carter. Additional vocal parts are credited to smooth Bing Crosby, slick Gary Crosby and the heavily sweetened chorus attached to the Gordon Jenkins orchestra. Several of the All-Stars -- Trummy Young, Barney Bigard, Billy Kyle, Arvell Shaw and Barrett Deems -- show up in these big-band recordings that preface the final 15 years of Louis Armstrong's long and productive career. Stylistically, the greatest contrast in this collection can be found near the beginning of the first disc in the form of two very modern sounding bop-inflected Leonard Feather originals performed by the Esquire All-American 1946 Award Winners, an exciting group composed of members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (including Billy Strayhorn and Ellington himself) in collaboration with such heavyweights as Charlie Shavers, Don Byas, Neal Hefti, Remo Palmieri and Chubby Jackson. Although Armstrong may not have preferred the advanced harmonies and angular phraseology of bop, he was more than capable of handling such stuff and sounded as powerful and focused on this 1946 date as he would in 1961 while navigating the tropes of Duke Ellington's Charles Mingus-inspired opus "The Beautiful American." Most of the music on this Cabu anthology is All-American pop music with the kind of rosy jazz overtones that inevitably occurred in the presence of Louis Armstrong.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:00
2
4:24
3 4:18
4
2:57
5
3:07
6
3:19
7
3:03
8
2:49
9
3:16
10
3:01
11 3:06
12
2:54
13
3:30
14 3:06
15
3:23
16
feat: Bing Crosby
2:33
17
3:03
18
3:29
19
3:15
20
3:11
21 3:09

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:19
2
2:59
3
2:55
4
2:45
5 2:46
6
2:44
7
2:47
8
3:02
9 2:55
10 3:11
11
3:21
12
2:45
13
3:08
14 3:47
15 2:56
16
2:54
17 3:00
18
2:37
19 2:53
20 2:44
21 3:11
blue highlight denotes track pick