Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings [Columbia/Legacy]

Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings [Columbia/Legacy]

by Louis Armstrong

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These are the most important recordings of the most important figure in 20th century American music. Any questions?

Okay, okay, you're used to hyperbole - "this is essential music by an essential artist that you absolutely, positively must have if you have any shred of sense, any scintilla of humanity." It's often attached to crummy 12-CD boxed sets of mediocre

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These are the most important recordings of the most important figure in 20th century American music. Any questions?

Okay, okay, you're used to hyperbole - "this is essential music by an essential artist that you absolutely, positively must have if you have any shred of sense, any scintilla of humanity." It's often attached to crummy 12-CD boxed sets of mediocre material from third-rate artists.So how should we put this? How about-this is essential music by an essential artist you absolutely, positively must have if you have any shred of sense, any scintilla of humanity. Really.

Traditional New Orleans jazz, with its democratic group improvisation, was still a nascent art form and recording was in its earliest stages when a trumpet virtuoso named Louis Armstrong blasted out of King Joe Oliver's jazz band in 1925 with a group called the Hot Five. With a personality as large as America, Louis Armstrong set the stage for all the popular music to come. "West End Blues," "Weather Bird," "Wild Man Blues," "Gut Bucket Blues," "Heebie Jeebies," "Struttin' with Some Barbecue," and the rest -- recorded over the next five years -- introduced the concept of the jazz soloist, the concept of the instrumental virtuoso outside the realm of classical music, the concept of scat singing and the concept that art and popular entertainment were not necessarily mutually exclusive.

The Hot Five and Seven recordings don't need a Louis Armstrong centennial to be reissued. In fact, the tracks on this four-CD set have rarely been out of print in the 75 years since they were recorded -- on 78's, LPs, eight-track tapes, CDs, cassettes, and now MP-3 files, these groundbreaking recordings have rarely been unavailable. What we have here is the official Columbia Records version of everything, including recordings of Armstrong and his group backing up such singers as the eminently forgettable Lillie Delk Christian and sessions featuring Armstrong released under the names of other group members, 89 tracks in all. An unreleased track or two has been dug up. Some pitch correction has been achieved. A new order has been put to some of the recordings. And the sound has been tinkered with, again. You get a little more hiss and pop from those old 78s on some songs, but you get a little more music. Some people will prefer Columbia's earlier, cleaner CD versions -- a little less noise, but much less depth. Some will prefer the unofficial European versions (where this music is public domain). Some will prefer the "digital stereo" versions from England. Whatever. As the liner notes say, "Some of this may be sheer torture to the lay person, but to the cognoscenti and the enthusiast it is archeology of the highest priority."

What remains, of course, is the music. And what's most remarkable is just how enjoyable these recordings are, how much fun. Armstrong's trumpet is breathtaking-ask a trumpet player, these solos are still hard to play-and his singing is still a rollicking tickle to the ribs. "I'm with you sweet mama as long as you have the bucks, I mean money, mama," he sings in "S.O.L. Blues." Go ahead, don't smile. Everything good about America in the 20th century can be found in the recordings of Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Seven. Essential? C'mon.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
What can the cyberworld learn from these Armstrong treasures, which, though cleaned up, do still sound like they were made in the Twenties? There’s his knack for generating soaring melodies, his ability to make his enthusiasm for everything he played feel contagious and, most of all, the order in which he got things done: He learned how to play before he turned on the charm.

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Disc 1

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

Disc 2

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

Disc 3

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

Disc 4

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

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Louis Armstrong   Primary Artist,Cornet,Leader,Vocals
Lonnie Johnson   Guitar
Paul Barbarin   Drums
Eddie Condon   Banjo
Earl Hines   Piano,Accompaniment
Kid Ory   Trombone
Jack Teagarden   Trombone
Luis Russell   Piano,Leader
Jimmie Noone   Clarinet
Zutty Singleton   Drums
Joe Sullivan   Piano
Don Redman   Clarinet
Johnny St. Cyr   Banjo
Barney Bigard   Tenor Saxophone
Pete Briggs   Tuba
Happy Caldwell   Tenor Saxophone
Honore Dutrey   Trombone
Susie Hawthorne   Vocals
Pops Foster   Bass
Tubby Hall   Drums
Lil Hardin   Piano
J.C. Higginbotham   Trombone
Jimmy Strong   Clarinet
Hersal Thomas   Piano
Carroll Dickerson   Piano,Leader
Fred Robinson   Trombone
Hociel Thomas   Vocals
Mancy Carr   Banjo
Rip Basset   Banjo
Jody "Butterbeans" Edwards   Vocals
Kaiser Marshall   Drums
Fred "Rodriguez" Robinson   Trombone

Technical Credits

Sara Martin   Composer
Victoria Spivey   Composer
Paul Barbarin   Composer
Earl Hines   Composer
Jelly Roll Morton   Composer
King Oliver   Composer
Kid Ory   Composer,Introduction
Luis Russell   Composer
Don Redman   Composer
Big Maceo Merriweather   Composer
Steven Berkowitz   Producer
Louis Armstrong   Composer,Introduction
Lil Armstrong   Composer
Boyd Atkins   Composer
Marty Bloom   Composer
Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner   Composer
Langston Curl   Composer
Joe Davis   Composer
J. Edwards   Composer
Lil Hardin   Composer
R.J. Jones   Producer
Don Raye   Composer
Phil Schaap   Producer,Liner Notes
Clarence Williams   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Tommy Rockwell   Producer
Herbert Stothart   Composer
Carroll Dickerson   Orchestra Director
Bill Ewing   Composer
Hociel Thomas   Composer
Seth Rothstein   Producer
Ray Gilbert   Composer
Billie Pierce   Composer
Charlie Sarrica   Graphic Design
Walter Melrose   Composer
Paul Denniker   Composer
Artie Matthews   Composer
Sydney Robin   Composer
Grant Rymal   Composer
Percy Venable   Composer
Ian Cuttler   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Sandy Yuzon   Graphic Design
Joe Primrose   Composer
William Butler   Composer
E.J. Bennett   Composer
Coslow Spier   Composer
Edward "Kid" Ory   Composer
A. Curl   Composer
N. Wilson   Composer
W. Butler   Composer
F. Biggs   Composer
V. Spivey   Composer
Lil Hardin Armstrong   Composer
Edwin H. Morris   Composer
E. Bennett   Composer

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