This Is Jazz, Vol. 1 isn't an ideal overview of Louis Armstrong's seminal Columbia recordings, but it isn't bad, either. Many of the featured 16 songs are among Armstrong's very best, giving novices a good idea of the sound, style, and depth of his music, even if it doesn't provide an ideal context. Nevertheless, This Is Jazz doesn't intend to provide context, which will undoubtedly frustrate collectors and jazz purists. However, it does succeed in offering an affordable sampler of his classic Columbia recordings for curious listeners -- and it succeeds quite well in that regard.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine