Louis_armstrong-master_jazz_chicago_1962_span3
May 1998

Louis Armstrong
Master of Jazz: Louis in Chicago, 1962
Storyville

Among the 17 performances are several not previously issued, such as Billy Kyle's feature, "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," Trummy Young's untypically rambunctious outburst on "Once in a While" and a sober "Basin Street Blues." The recording is generally good by the standards of 1962 and the remastering '90s, but the leader's voice sometimes emerges as grossly over-recorded and Kyle's piano as sadly under-recorded. There are, however, many rewards for Armstrong devotees. He blows with unsparing power and zest throughout, announces numbers with great good-humor, and even tells his "'gator-in-the-well" joke one more time. Clarinetist Joe Darensbourg fits in surprisingly well and Danny Barcelona sounds more assured than usual, but I for one could have done without "High Society Calypso" again.

Originally published in May 1998
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