J.A.W.

Louis Armstrong Mosaic planned with his 1935-1946 Decca sides

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Mosaic's Scott Wenzel just told me they are planning a Louis Armstrong box with his complete 1935-1946 Decca sessions on 7 CDs. No release date has been scheduled yet.

Edited by J.A.W.

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Ah, I think this is also something I've been looking to find out about.

Informed discussion will be greatly beneficial. (Ill-informed discussion will, I trust, be very funny.)

MG

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I don't own the OOP #146 The Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars (6 CDs or 8 Q-LPs). Nor have I seen its discography, so please forgive my ignorance. Could someone tell me what would the new set have that this didn't?

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I don't own the OOP #146 The Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars (6 CDs or 8 Q-LPs). Nor have I seen its discography, so please forgive my ignorance. Could someone tell me what would the new set have that this didn't?

The new set will have the complete 1934-1946 Armstrong Decca big-band sessions, while the OOP Mosaic (#146) has the 1950s Armstrong small-group All-Stars dates on Decca: AMG review

Edited by J.A.W.

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I thought this was big band stuff.

MG

See my post #6.

The two sets represent totally different periods in Armstrong's career.

Edited by J.A.W.

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What about the Universal Studios fire? Didn't we conclude that the Decca masters were destroyed? What will be Mosaic's source?

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There will be some truly great music on this Armstrong Decca big band set.

I play certain songs by Armstrong from this period as much as I play any music.

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What about the Universal Studios fire? Didn't we conclude that the Decca masters were destroyed? What will be Mosaic's source?

Excellent point. Guess this may be the first real look at the damage from the consumer side anyway.

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What about the Universal Studios fire? Didn't we conclude that the Decca masters were destroyed? What will be Mosaic's source?

Everything's been mere speculation so far; still no official word as far as I know.

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HALLELUJAH!

T623718A.jpg

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Beat me to it by a few hours! I spent time with Dan Morgenstern at Birdland last night and he told about the Mosaic set as "breaking news." He's doing the notes and told me that he just heard that he's going to have them done sooner than originally anticipated. Apparently, something (I don't know what) on Mosaic's future projects list fell through and now the Armstrong set is being moved up to possibly sometime next year. As J.A.W. stated, it will have 7 CDs but Dan said that no new alternates were found except another take of the legendary 1938 "Stuttin' With Some Barbecue," which is almost identical to the issued master. Still, literally two hours before breaking the news, I was having a conversation in which I complained about the lack of respect the Decca years have always received and how the United States has never put out a complete release of the Armstrong's 1930s Deccas as the peerless Swedish Ambassador label did. Oops! Spoke too soon...

(For those keeping score with my infrequent postings, I was in the city to officially sign a contract. My book on Armstrong's later years will be out in 2010 and is going to be published by Pantheon, who did Dan's book. The Louis Armstrong Renaissance is upon us, my friends. My book, Terry Teachout's book, Forest Whitaker's big screen biopic, the John Sayles-Qunicy Jones-Charles S. Dutton HBO six-hour miniseries, a lavish new Visitor's Center at the Armstrong House in Corona, a Mosaic box set...everything I listed is taking place between 2009 and 2010. I wouldn't have it any other way!)

Ricky Riccardi

dippermouth.blogspot.com

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interesting timing on a number of accounts - first, another HURRAH for this material; hope they let Doug Pomeroy master it and hope they find all the good sources - there are a number of LPs and CDs that are very good of these, if you search hard enough, but everything has problems -

as for Louis, I've reached my own conclusions lately and am trying to get a book thing together - the prime conclusion being that, contrary to a lot of the conventional wisdom (mostly emanating from Lincoln Center), he was NOT a good blues player, but used the blues as a formal entity equal to any other, as another platform for his own very complex creations which were really part recitative per the operas he loved, part comment on American pop song and the standard repertoire, and part remant of the minstrel world, or at least that part of the minstrel world which emerged after the 1890s; these came out of the new African American shows, beginning with the traveling minstrel shows, with circuses that used African American performers, with vaudeville and tent show offshoots, as well as things like the Smart Set (a travelling black show of the early part of the 20th century). Still working on all of this, however -

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That is a unconventional view indeed, Allen, although the idea that Louis Armstrong was a great blues player certainly did not emanate from the Lincoln Center.

I certainly consider Louis Armstrong to one of the greatest blues players who ever lived. The Hot Fives and Sevens would be enough to rest that case (IMO).

Edited by John L

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I don't think so - I find his blues playing brilliant but not really as blues playing; lacks, to me, the off-hand roughness of that style; there is a heat to his playing, a deep brilliance, but I think it goes in a different direction. On the most basic level, he really introduced the major third and major seventh into use in jazz soloing in a way which took the music very much away from the gutbucket. I mention Lincoln Center because they - Marsalis, Albert Murray, Crouch - have made this blues view of Armstrong a real cornerstone of their jazz philosophy. When one listens to the great blues singers of the 1920s who came out of the minstrel/medicine show tradition - thinking, eg, of Julius Daniels and Simmie Dooley - one realizes that Armstrong has more in common with them in terms of basic vocal presentation than with, say, guys like Charlie Patton -

Edited by AllenLowe

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I don't think so - I find his blues playing brilliant but not really as blues playing; lacks, to me, the off-hand roughness of that style; there is a heat to his playing, a deep brilliance, but I think it goes in a different direction.

So...you define the blues and thereby what is not the blues?

Sorta sounds like Center Lincoln, but let me know how that works out for ya', ok?

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Not really good news, another Mosaic that i won't buy in the short term because my currency is getting the shit beaten out of it.

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This will be a really fun set. I hope Ted Kendall does the remastering, the grp decca reissues from the early 90s sound horrible to me.

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Beat me to it by a few hours! I spent time with Dan Morgenstern at Birdland last night and he told about the Mosaic set as "breaking news." He's doing the notes and told me that he just heard that he's going to have them done sooner than originally anticipated. Apparently, something (I don't know what) on Mosaic's future projects list fell through and now the Armstrong set is being moved up to possibly sometime next year.

I hope it wasn't the 1930s Ellington big-band set that fell through.

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"So...you define the blues and thereby what is not the blues?

Sorta sounds like Center Lincoln, but let me know how that works out for ya', ok?"

no, Jim, 100 years of American music defines the blues - you just gotta listen to all of it -

once again, a relativistic argument that defeats itself - if no one can make an attempt at definitions, why do we even get out of bed in the morning, no less post here? And when I attempt to define the blues I bring a whole helluva lot more knowledge of that body of music than some other parties - the difference is that I allow for nuance and contradictions -

but you'll just have to read the book -

and in the meantime I will start burning all the books I have on blues and jazz because they have the nerve to define those musics - sorry Larry, but it's gonna be a cold night here in Maine -

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"So...you define the blues and thereby what is not the blues?

Sorta sounds like Center Lincoln, but let me know how that works out for ya', ok?"

no, Jim, 100 years of American music defines the blues - you just gotta listen to all of it -

once again, a relativistic argument that defeats itself - if no one can make an attempt at definitions, why do we even get out of bed in the morning, no less post here? And when I attempt to define the blues I bring a whole helluva lot more knowledge of that body of music than some other parties - the difference is that I allow for nuance and contradictions -

but you'll just have to read the book -

and in the meantime I will start burning all the books I have on blues and jazz because they have the nerve to define those musics - sorry Larry, but it's gonna be a cold night here in Maine -

Now that's just silly. First of all, if you don't have a reason for getting out of bed in the morning other than to define things, then...whatever. Never mind. That's just too sad to contemplate.

Otherwise....

You say that Armstrong's blues playing was "brilliant but not really as blues playing". And yet it has been recognized as such - blues playing - since it first went down. Even if it was rife with other influences, which it certainly was, it just sorta zoomed right in there and became part of what everybody present at the time (and even more afterward) accepted unhesitatingly as a part of the language of the blues, maybe as an evolution, maybe as a revolution, maybe some or all of the above, but definitely in line with what damn near everybody would consider "the blues". Now you're going to come along all these years later and say, not so fast, no, it's not really blues playing because it doesn't meet my proscribed definitions/criteria/whatever? To what end, the Lowe-ification of American Music? Whazzup with that, huh?

Sorry dude, but unless you can offer up a helluva lot more clear definition/delineation of what you're talking about here, something that bears some semblance to reality and not some grand "theory" that you have, I'm calling bullshit right now. It makes no sense to say that Louis Armstrong was not a great blues player even though he played brilliantly on/in/of the blues. What does make sense to say is that he greatly expanded the language, parameters, the "aesthetic" if you will, of the blues by bringing to it what he did and finding places for all of it so organically, but you have not said that. You have said that Lois Armstrong was not a great blues player, and sorry, but that is just stupid.

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When one listens to the great blues singers of the 1920s who came out of the minstrel/medicine show tradition - thinking, eg, of Julius Daniels and Simmie Dooley - one realizes that Armstrong has more in common with them in terms of basic vocal presentation than with, say, guys like Charlie Patton -

Ok, so which of these traditions does Bird come out of?

Or was Bird not a great blues player either?

I do not at all understand the strict literalness of this mindset. It seems arbitrary and wholly self-imposed.

I'm all for discovering/recognizing currents, but to deny that piece by piece they tend to merge, and that at some point they all come together is missing the point of it all, no?

Edited by JSngry

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I don't own the OOP #146 The Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars (6 CDs or 8 Q-LPs). Nor have I seen its discography, so please forgive my ignorance. Could someone tell me what would the new set have that this didn't?

The All Stars was a small band, not a "big band." Ah, as usual I see I'm late to party. Never mind.

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