Louis Armstrong

The Very Best of Louis Armstrong [Verve]

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Many labels have attempted to compile the "best" of legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong's body of work -- a Herculean task if ever there was one. The best albums have been those that focus on a particular era in the jazz innovator's career and don't attempt to cover everything. This double-disc import from Verve collects some of Armstrong's best work from the '50s to the early '60s. Forgoing his important early work for his later, more popular recordings, The Very Best of Louis Armstrong features such classics as "Hello Dolly," "Mack the Knife," and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," as well as lesser-known gems. While other albums have featured these recordings -- and, granted, not everything is here -- at 30 tracks this is easily one of the most thorough at encapsulating Armstrong as a mid-century singer/icon.

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