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Hot Fives, Sevens, Reissued Again

So, you wanted Columbia/Legacy’s Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings box set when it came out in 2000, but you couldn’t, or didn’t want to, pony up the scoots to make the purchase? We understand. Columbia/Legacy understands too, and they also see a way to make even more cash money off these recordings, which are now ¾ of a century old.

Next week your local music shop will boast three new, individually packaged CDs which cover most of Louis Armstrong’s seminal group recordings for the Okeh label. The 2000 box set included tracks recorded under different names and in different configurations during the Hot Five and Hot Seven groups’ existence. That material, 25 tunes, isn’t included on any of these new CDs. Call these the pure Hot Five and Hot Seven collections.

The new CDs go chronologically. Volume 1 begins with the Hot Five’s November 1925 and ends with tracks they cut a year later. The second installment picks up where the first left off and ends with the version of “Once in a While” the Hot Five made on Dec. 9, 1927. And Volume 3 takes us all the way to the end of the Hot bands’ run-December, 1928. Amazingly, JazzTimes and Village Voice columnist Gary Giddins had new insights into the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings and wrote the liner notes that accompany each release. The CDs come out April 29.

Originally Published