It took domestic Columbia until the late 1980s to finally start a program reissuing complete and in chronological order all of Louis Armstrong's earliest recordings as a leader -- only 60 years after the classic music was originally recorded. The series reached its seventh CD by 1992 but thus far an eighth and final album has not been compiled to complete the essential task of making Armstrong's greatest recordings available. Louis Armstrong Collection, Vol. 7 has 17 big-band selections from 1930-1931 (plus an alternate take of "You're Drivin' Me Crazy") and, even if the first six volumes are a bit more essential, this one contains plenty of gems. Lionel Hampton made his first recorded appearance on vibes during "Memories of You" and "Shine," and the other memorable selections include "Sweethearts on Parade," Armstrong's theme song "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You," "Lazy River," and "Chinatown, My Chinatown." Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow