[Dixielandjazz] Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Duke Ellington reviewed

Robert Ringwald rsr at ringwald.com
Mon Dec 10 07:57:06 PST 2012

by Bret Saunders
Denver Post, December 9, 2012
Louis Armstrong: "The Okeh Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings -- 1925-1933" (Columbia
These recordings, and the trumpeter himself, are the place to start for anyone interested
in the history of jazz. You've probably read something similar to that statement
before, but that doesn't make it any less true. Listen to the perfection of an art
form that jumps up and down over the course of 10 CDs and realize how exciting (and
entertaining) Louis Armstrong's creativity can be. This trumps previously "definitive"
collections like "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and "The Complete Hot Five
and Hot Seven Recordings." It's, uh, definitively definitive.
Clifford Brown: "The Singers Sessions" (Verve Select)
All of this music has been reissued before, in 1989's "Brownie" box, which was as
deep as it was tragically beautiful. That set is long out of print, and trumpet master
Brown's discography is being reissued in smaller chunks, including this 3-disc collection.
The trio of vocalists showcased here (Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Helen Merrill)
are in their peak '50s form, and Brown had a gift for complementing the human voice
like few instrumentalists; he could evoke vulnerability with a real sense of grace.
This is a box of sonic candy: lovely, velvety stuff.
Duke Ellington: "The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958" (Columbia
I'll admit it -- I'm a sucker for these miniature LP replica sets. Take the original
albums, remaster them, add bonus material and package them like the original item,
except they're CD-sized. See? Sony has rereleased a lot of its catalogue this way
recently, which is terrific if you get excited about that sort of thing. (I do.)
You'll need a microscope to read the original liner notes, which unfortunately aren't
reproduced in the accompanying booklet. But if you can live with that, here's your
opportunity to finally hear obscure albums like "Ellington Indigos" and "Duke Ellington
at the Bal Masque," which are as elegant as I'd always hoped. As if there was any


-Bob Ringwald
Amateur (ham) Radio Operator K6YBV
916/ 806-9551

"Jesus loves you."
A nice gesture in church but a terrible thing to hear in a Mexican prison.

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list