For those who never got to see Satchmo Legacy Band live, this album goes a long way in relating what must surely have been one of the great wonders of the world. Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars -- featuring trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Barney Bigard, pianist Earl Hines, bassist Arvel Shaw, and drummer Big Sid Catlett -- toured often throughout Europe during the 1940s. Here we find the group performing in Trieste, northern Italy, in 1949. While the recording quality isn't stellar, every note is clear and audible. Trumpeter Armstrong was still playing very near the top of his game during this period and his clarion tones ring over the often-cheering audience. One of the more surpassing highlights on this utterly compelling disc is Shaw's exotic and funky solo turn on Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby," which prefigures much of what bassist Charles Mingus would accomplish in the following decades. Velma Middleton also appears singing on "Don't Worry About Me" and Hines takes a burning ragtime solo turn on "I Got Rhythm."
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar