LOUIS ARMSTRONG > Greatest Performances of the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Louis Armstrong’s impact and influence on American popular music is so vast that it’s difficult to succinctly summarize it. He was the first virtuoso soloist on record, and his approach to melody, delivery and performance as a singer rivaled his innovations on trumpet.Label: Time Life
[Rating: 3 stars]

Louis Armstrong’s impact and influence on American popular music is so vast that it’s difficult to succinctly summarize it. He was the first virtuoso soloist on record, and his approach to melody, delivery and performance as a singer rivaled his innovations on trumpet. Despite a steadfast refusal to embrace bop’s harmonic revolution or adopt the changes in attitude toward white society that it helped fuel, Armstrong’s range, sound and command of his instrument was always incredible. This new DVD visually and aurally documents many exciting occasionally incredible performances, though it’s undeniable that the music’s far more dazzling during the ‘30s and ‘40s than the ‘50s and ‘60s. Armstrong’s renditions of “Tiger Rag” and “I Cover the Waterfront” are astounding, though in fairness the duet with Bing Crosby on “Now You Has Jazz” from the ‘50s and the more contemporary versions of “Basin Street Blues,” “Mack the Knife” and “High Society Calypso” are also impressive despite staid arrangements. Louis Armstrong’s musical contributions were awesome, and this set again reminds us of his greatness.

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