The 14th title in the History label's 15-CD box set Louis Armstrong and the ninth in the Past Perfect label's ten-CD box set Portrait (both imprints are part of the German firm the International Music Company), It Takes Time collects most of Armstrong's RCA Victor Records studio recordings of 1946-47. As each album in the box sets contain 20 tracks, this one begins one track into the April 27, 1946, session and ends two tracks into the June 10, 1947, session. But the bulk of Armstrong's second sojourn at RCA is here, and the significance of the period is that the trumpeter/singer switched over from a big band to a small one. In fact, as these tracks demonstrate, the transition was gradual, with Armstrong trying out a smaller unit at a September 6, 1946, session billed to Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, and returning to another only a month later when recording tracks associated with his appearance in the film New Orleans. The final session heard in part here, while not billed to Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars, as later ones would be, is another reduced lineup featuring players like Jack Teagarden, who soon would join the All-Stars. There are also big band titles here, but it's the small band recordings that matter, particularly the New Orleans tracks, such as "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." RCA claims copyright on this material for the U.S. (it is in the public domain in Europe), but the box sets are readily available domestically at modest prices via mail order. All of these tracks are heard in far superior sound and with good annotations on the four-CD box set The Complete RCA Victor Recordings, but this barebones album is far less expensive.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann