The Power and the Glory
Louis Armstrong's spirit hovers over The Power and the Glory: A Salute to Louis Armstrong (Storyville 101 4250; 64:02) by the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Jim McNeely. This 2001 concert program consisted mostly of songs from Armstrong's early days, with featured soloist Leroy Jones playing and singing, along with arrangements by McNeely, Bill Potts, Vincent Nilsson, Peter Jensen and Harry Connick Jr. Jones may not be a great trumpeter yet, but he's quite good and generally entertaining throughout. The orchestra is solid and boasts several fine soloists, including trumpeter Henrik Bolberg Pedersen and saxophonist Tomas Franck. Highlights include the orchestrated Armstrong solos on the title track, the exotic muted trumpet and bass clarinet intro of "Someday You'll Be Sorry," the band's unison scat chorus on "Hotter Than That" and the hip version of "Weather Bird," with the saxophones playing many of Earl Hines' original licks.