Louis Armstrong

Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden

Louis Armstrong's Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography was recorded as an oral memoir (with overdubbed background piano by Billy Kyle) combined with re-creations of many of his memorable recordings, as well as a few of the originals. Although such a project had the potential to become trite, the effort comes off very well indeed. This three-CD reissue has a few improvements as well. Almost every track that was previously edited to fit onto LPs has been restored to its original length. Louis Untermeyer's original liner notes have been augmented by excellent updated text by Joshua Berrett. And in spite of the warning about sound problems from using some deteriorated tapes and worn discs as source material, the audio experience is quite pleasing. While these re-creations aren't meant to take the place of Armstrong's historic recordings from earlier decades with King Oliver, Earl Hines, and other greats, they have stood the test of time rather well, except for the, at best, average vocals of Velma Middleton; Armstrong's furor with the suggestion that he omit the plump singer from his set during the 1957 Newport Festival is described in detail in Berrett's notes. While this collection isn't the initial purchase a neophyte jazz fan would pick up from Armstrong's immense catalog, his interesting narrative and the enjoyable renditions of tunes closely associated with him make this a very worthwhile purchase.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Louis Armstrong 01:24 Amazon
2 Louis Armstrong 03:14 Amazon
3
Louis Armstrong 00:40 Amazon
4 Louis Armstrong 02:56 SpotifyAmazon
5
Louis Armstrong 00:27 Amazon
6 Louis Armstrong 03:52 SpotifyAmazon
7
Louis Armstrong 00:22 Amazon
8 Louis Armstrong 03:13 Amazon
9
Louis Armstrong 00:25 Amazon
10 Louis Armstrong 03:37 Amazon
11
Louis Armstrong 00:23 Amazon
12 Louis Armstrong 02:06 Amazon
13
Louis Armstrong 00:58 Amazon
14 Louis Armstrong 03:31 Amazon
15
Louis Armstrong 00:37 Amazon
16 Louis Armstrong 02:28 Amazon
17
Louis Armstrong 00:23 Amazon
18 Louis Armstrong 02:51 Amazon
19
Louis Armstrong 00:32 Amazon
20 Louis Armstrong 02:37 Amazon
21
Louis Armstrong 00:24 Amazon
22 Louis Armstrong 06:16 Amazon
23
Louis Armstrong 00:38 Amazon
24 Louis Armstrong 03:11 Amazon
25
Louis Armstrong 00:30 Amazon
26 Louis Armstrong 02:59 Amazon
27
Louis Armstrong 00:23 Amazon
28 Louis Armstrong 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
29
Louis Armstrong 00:22 Amazon
30 Louis Armstrong 03:19 Amazon
31
Louis Armstrong 00:46 Amazon
32 Louis Armstrong 06:12 Amazon
33
Louis Armstrong 00:40 Amazon
34 Louis Armstrong 03:55 Amazon
35
Louis Armstrong 00:36 Amazon
36 Louis Armstrong 03:46 Amazon
37 Louis Armstrong 02:24 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Louis Armstrong 00:44 Amazon
2 Louis Armstrong 03:55 SpotifyAmazon
3
Louis Armstrong 00:25 Amazon
4 Louis Armstrong 02:22 Amazon
5
Louis Armstrong 00:25 Amazon
6 Louis Armstrong 02:59 SpotifyAmazon
7
Louis Armstrong 01:00 Amazon
8 Louis Armstrong 04:38 Amazon
9
Louis Armstrong 00:35 Amazon
10 Louis Armstrong 05:55 SpotifyAmazon
11
Louis Armstrong 00:33 Amazon
12 Louis Armstrong 03:12 Amazon
13
Louis Armstrong 00:32 Amazon
14 Louis Armstrong 03:18 Amazon
15
Louis Armstrong 00:16 Amazon
16 Louis Armstrong 03:32 SpotifyAmazon
17
Louis Armstrong 00:26 Amazon
18 Louis Armstrong 05:49 SpotifyAmazon
19
Louis Armstrong 00:32 Amazon
20 Louis Armstrong 03:41 Amazon
21
Louis Armstrong 00:32
22 Louis Armstrong 04:20 SpotifyAmazon
23
Louis Armstrong 00:20 Amazon
24 Louis Armstrong 03:56 Amazon
25
Louis Armstrong 00:38 Amazon
26 Louis Armstrong 03:02 Amazon
27
Louis Armstrong 00:47 Amazon
28 Louis Armstrong 04:00 SpotifyAmazon
29
Louis Armstrong 00:29 Amazon
30 Louis Armstrong 04:01 Amazon
31
Louis Armstrong 00:24
32 Louis Armstrong 03:26 Amazon
33
Louis Armstrong 00:23 Amazon
34 Louis Armstrong 03:54 SpotifyAmazon
35
Louis Armstrong 00:27 Amazon
36 Louis Armstrong 04:06 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Louis Armstrong 00:16 Amazon
2 Louis Armstrong 03:17 Amazon
3
Louis Armstrong 00:20 Amazon
4 Louis Armstrong 04:59 Amazon
5
Louis Armstrong 00:29 Amazon
6 Louis Armstrong 03:27 SpotifyAmazon
7
Louis Armstrong 00:19 Amazon
8 Louis Armstrong 03:16 Amazon
9
Louis Armstrong 00:27 Amazon
10 Louis Armstrong 03:18 Amazon
11
Louis Armstrong 00:22 Amazon
12 Louis Armstrong 04:38 Amazon
13
Louis Armstrong 00:30 Amazon
14 Louis Armstrong 02:58 Amazon
15
Louis Armstrong 00:22 Amazon
16 Louis Armstrong 03:49 SpotifyAmazon
17
Louis Armstrong 00:14 Amazon
18 Louis Armstrong 03:21 Amazon
19
Louis Armstrong 00:32 Amazon
20 Louis Armstrong 03:25 Amazon
21
Louis Armstrong 00:24 Amazon
22 Louis Armstrong 03:11 Amazon
23
Louis Armstrong 00:24 Amazon
24 Louis Armstrong 05:47 SpotifyAmazon
25
Louis Armstrong 02:15 Amazon
26 Louis Armstrong 06:28 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick