Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Louis Armstrong's The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings box set released

First posted 8/4/2011; updated 11/16/2020.

The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings

Louis Armstrong


Recorded: 1926 to 1928


Released: August 22, 2000


Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)


Genre: jazz


Tracks, Disc 1: 1. Gut Bucket Blues 2. My Heart 3. Yes! I’m in the Barrel 4. Come Back Sweet Papa 5. Georgia Grind 6. Heebie Jeebies 7. Cornet Chop Suey 8. Oriental Strut 9. You’re Next 10. Muskrat Ramble 11. Don’t Forget to Mess Around 12. I’m Gonna Gitcha 13. Droppin’ Shucks 14. Who’s It 15. King of the Zulus 16. Big Fat Ma and Skinny Pa 17. Lonesome Blues 18. Sweet Little Papa 19. Jazz Lips 20. Skid-Dat-De-Dat 21. Big Butter and Egg Man 22. Sunset CafĂ© Stomp 23. You Made Me Love You 24. Irish Black Bottom 25. [Pause Track]

Tracks, Disc 2:

1. Put ‘Em Down Blues 2. Ory’s Creole Trombone 3. Last Time 4. Struttin’ with Some Barbeque 5. Got No Blues 6. Once in a While 7. I’m Not Rough 8. Hotter Than That 9. Savoy Blues 10. He Likes It Slow 11. Gambler’s Dream 12. Sunshine Baby 13. Adam and Eve Had the Blues 14. Put It Where I Can Get It 15. Washwoman Blues 16. I’ve Stopped My Man 17. Georgia Bo Bo 18. Drop That Sack [Common Take] 19. Drop That Sake [Rare Take] 20. Cornet Chop Suey 21. [Pause Track]

Tracks, Disc 3:

1. Willie the Weeper 2. Wild Man Blues 3. Alligator Crawl 4. Potato Head Blues 5. Melancholy 6. Weary Blues 7. Twelfth Street Rag 8. Keyhole Blues 9. S.O.L. Blues 10. Gully Low Blues 11. That’s When I’ll Come Back to You 12. Chicago Breakdown 13. Weary Blues 14. New Orleans Stomp 15. Wild Man Blues 16. Wild Man Blues 17. Melancholy 18. Melancholy 19. You’re a Real Sweetheart 20. Too Busy! 21. Was It a Dream? 22. Last Night I Dreamed You Kissed Me 23. [Pause Track]

Tracks, Disc 4:

1. Fireworks 2. Skip the Gutter 3. Monday Date 4. Don’t Jive Me 5. West End Blues 6. Sugar Foot Strut 7. Two Deuces 8. Squeeze Me 9. Knee Drops 10. No, Papa, No 11. Basin Street Blues 12. No One Else But You 13. Beau Koo Jack 14. Save It, Pretty Mama 15. Muggles 16. Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya? 17. St. James Infirmary 18. Tight Like This 19. Weather Bird 20. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love [Common Take] 21. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love [Rare Take] 22. Mahogany Hall Stomp 23. Knockin’ a Jug 24. [Pause Track]

The following songs from the box set charted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  • Muskrat Ramble (7/17/26, 8 US)
  • Big Butter and Egg Man (4/9/27, 13 US)
  • Keyhole Blues (10/29/27, 16 US)
  • Potato Head Blues (12/10/27, 12 US)
  • Hotter Than That (5/12/28, 10 US)
  • Struttin’ with Some Barbeque (7/14/28, 14 US)
  • West End Blues (9/15/28, 8 US)
  • A Monday Date (12/1/28, 19 US)
  • St. James Infirmary (5/4/29, 15 US)
  • Once in a While (1/8/38, 15 US)
  • Basin Street Blues (10/29/38, 20 US)

Rating:

4.800 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


Quotable: “Jazz starts here.” – Blender Magazine


Awards:

About the Album:

“Jazz starts here.” BL “This 4-CD set represents the ‘Rosetta Stone of Jazz,’ the ultimate Louis Armstrong collection.” JM “Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings are jazz’s Holy Grail, a venerable guide for anyone with the desire to explore the roots of this now century old art.” MC Armstrong “was not the first great player in jazz, but he was the first to elevate the soloist’s art to a position of primacy.” KM “A typical band embellished a song, but Armstrong took long solos, causing near riots of excitement.” MC

“Between 1925 and 1929, Armstrong invented scat singing, defined swing and introduced the jazz solo. He laid the foundations for America’s first indigenous art form – and had a ball doing it. No wonder he was our first global pop star.” BL “Music could never be the same again.” KM

“He did so through the medium of the 78 rpm sides he cut for Okeh with his Hot Five and Hot Seven units. This was a genuine case of records creating history.” KM These recordings “ushered out the era of acoustic recording where the soloist played into a huge cone and ushered in the electric method utilizing microphones.” MC

“This four-CD set brings together all the recordings made during the period of the Hot Five and Hot Sevens along with all the attendant recordings that Armstrong was involved in during this breakthrough period.” CK “Armstrong continually cuts through with a crystalline brilliance he was never to recapture.” KM “When he opens West End Blues with a trumpet solo followed by the klop-klop of cymbals and his ‘waa-waa-waa’ scat in response to Johnny Dodds’ clarinet one can imagine listeners falling-out with excitement.” MC

“If the tragic grandeur of his playing on ‘West End Blues’ is the pinnacle, it is all but matched on a dozen others.” KM “There are plenty trumpet licks rendered to keep scholars and students busy for years.” MC

“Although this material has been around the block several times before – and continues to be available in packages greatly varying in transfer quality – this is truly the way to go, and certainly the most deluxe packaging this material has ever received with the greatest sound retrieval yet employed.” CK “Sonically, graphically, and in terms of comprehensiveness, this is truly the definitive study of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings.” JM “Armstrong collectors will find everything from Armstrong’s Okeh record dates here, re-mastered, finally correctly according to many Armstrong scholars. Digitally re-mastered and pitch altered to the sound of Armstrong’s day. The music sound has significantly improved over previous Columbia/Legacy reissues.” MC

“In addition to sounding better than the competition, it also sensibly lays out all the recordings Satchmo made during this period, grouping all the original Hot Five recordings from 1925 to 1927 (and all attendant material) together on the first two discs, all of the Hot Sevens on disc three, with the final disc devoted to the second coming of the Hot Five in 1928 along with the attendant material from the following year.” CK

“Armstrong’s Hot Fives band comprised of his wife Lil’ Hardin Armstrong (piano/vocals), Kid Ory (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), and Johnny St. Cyr (banjo), were supplemented by tuba and drums to make the Hot Sevens. The last disc of the set features Armstrong and pianist Earl Hines, plus several big band recordings marketed under the popular Fives name.” MC

“There are also several categories of ‘bonus tracks’ aboard this deluxe set, including the ‘Lil’s Hot Shots’ 1926 Hot Five Vocalion recordings, a 1927 Johnny Dodds session that became the prototype for the Hot Seven recordings that soon followed, and the only known alternate take of I Can’t Give You Anything but Love. You can’t have a Louis Armstrong collection without this historic set. Come to think of it, you can’t have any kind of respectable jazz collection without it, either.” CK


Notes: Comes with an “extensive book with critical essays, photo galleries, full discographical info, includes Johnny Dodds’ & Lil Hardin’s rare sessions for the Vocalion and Brunswick labels, …main essay by grammy-nominated scholar Robert G. O'Meally, a personal reflection by producer George Avakian, and a collection of unrivaled historical value.” JM

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Saturday, August 19, 2000

The Weavers “Goodnight Irene” hit #1 50 years ago today (8/19/1950)

Last updated 4/19/2020.

Goodnight Irene

The Weavers with the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra

Writer(s): Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter (see lyrics here)


First Charted: July 1, 1950


Peak: 113 US, 14 HP, 110 CB, 16 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 1.82 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Tasked by the Library of Congess with making field recordings, John and Alan Lomax traveled throughout the American South to capture prison hollers and folk ballads. In 1933, they crossed paths with Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, In Angola, Louisiana. He was 42 and serving his third stint in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. SS He “sang spirituals, popular songs, field and prison hollers, cowboy and children’s songs, dance tunes and folk ballads, as well as his own compositions.” NRR As John Szwed wrote, he was “a man with a vast repertoire of traditional material and…such performing flair that he seemed to give off light when he sang.” SS

Leadbelly’s best-known song, “Goodnight Irene,” NRR was used “to open and close most of his concerts, in a conscious attempt to soften his rough-hewn image.” NPR John Lomax and Leadbelly took writing credits on the song, but it actually can be traced to African-American composer Gussie L. Davis, SS who, according to Charles Wolfe and Kip Lornell in The Life and Legend of Leadbelly, first published the sentimental waltz in Cincinnati in 1886 and again in New York in 1892. JA

Wolf and Lornell say Leadbelly would have learned the song in 1908 in his native Texas from his uncle Terrell. SS He reworked it to “fit his performing needs, accompanied as always by his Stella 12-string guitar.” SS

By the early 1940s, the song “was very familiar to everyone in the folk community.” SS Pete Seeger, of the Weavers, had befriended Leadbelly and knew first-hand the power of the song to captivate an audience. His group’s recording of the song, complete with “violins and other orchestra touches provided by Gordon Jenkins,” SS divided folk purists but made for a monstrously successful commercial recording, hitting #1 in 1950, just months after Leadbelly’s death. Red Foley, Jo Stafford, and Ernest Tubb had top ten versions of the song as well; it has also been recorded by Eric Clapton and Frank Sinatra.


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