Sackville All Stars

Tribute to Louis Armstrong

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This enjoyable salute to Louis Armstrong is due to two factors. First of all, the musicianship of Jim Galloway, Ralph Sutton, Milt Hinton and Gus Johnson during these 1988 sessions is a joy throughout both dates. Secondly, although they chose tunes affiliated with Armstrong, they avoided many of the obvious choices, and included material from different periods throughout his long career. Galloway, who is mostly heard on soprano sax, shines in less commonly recorded compositions such as "Song of the Islands" and "You Rascal You," as well as on interpretations of still popular hits like "On the Sunny Side of the Street." He switches to baritone sax for a soulful take of "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" (which hints at "Blues in the Dark" in his introduction) and a strutting "Big Butter and Egg Man." Sutton easily switches between utilizing a very light touch and powering the band with his style of driving stride piano that can be mistaken for no one else's. His humor comes across especially in the playful "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now." Milt Hinton was one of the first call bassists for decades for many reasons, his thoughtful accompaniment always sounded fresh and his solos are a joy. Gus Johnson, a very dependable drummer, provides just the right touch on every track.

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