After a European tour followed by an extended stay in Paris, Louis Armstrong returned to the USA where he signed a 10-year contract with Decca Records. During this period, Luis Russell's Big Band accompanied him. This album opens with tracks recorded in 1937, when a certain cohesion had begun to establish itself in the band, after hesitant beginnings.
Among the opening selections, we hear wonderful versions of "Public Melody" and "Sun Showers." A triumphant and dominant Armstrong was at the height of his talent in 1937, and his improvisations blend power, sensitivity, coarseness, and refinement. Rounding out the album are nearly a dozen inspired tracks from 1941. "Confessin'" features a reflective and tender vocal followed by a delicate trumpet solo that closes with a majestic coda. However, the highlight of these sessions is the down home, bluesy "Do You Call That a Buddy."