October 2000

Louis Armstrong
Satchmo the Great

Satchmo the Great comes largely from the soundtrack of an eponymous TV documentary coproduced and narrated by Edward R. Murrow. With the New Orleans-born swing clarinetist Edmond Hall taking the place of Bigard in the summer of 1955, the All-Stars toured Europe, Africa and the United States well into 1956. Interspersed between such concert staples as "When It's Sleep Time Down South," "Indiana," "Oh, Don't He Ramble," "Mack the Knife," "Mahogany Hall Stomp" and a 10-and-a-half minute "St. Louis Blues," with the New York Philharmonic, Murrow offers brief narrative links and conducts a seven-minute interview with Armstrong, who sandwiches in discussions about New Orleans funeral music and King Oliver. Three bonus tracks are added to the original LP: "Royal Garden Blues," "Bucket's Got a Hole in It" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street."

Originally published in October 2000
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