Louis Armstrong

Glorious Big Band Years 1937-1941

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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."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:12
2 2:45
3 2:45
4 3:00
5 3:00
6 2:37
7 2:58
8 2:59
9 3:09
10 3:16
11 3:20
12 3:23
13 3:19
14 2:54
15 3:19
16 3:20
17 2:54
18 3:02
19 2:59
20 3:19
blue highlight denotes track pick