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Louis Armstrong: Louis Armstrong: In Scandinavia Vol. 1 – 4

With the exception of a few selections, even the most dedicated archivist will not have previously heard the material on the four-CD Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (Storyville). The first three selections, from Copenhagen in 1933, are the soundtrack of a famous performance film, and there are also three other numbers from Stockholm a week later. Together, these rank as possibly the earliest concert performances of a jazz group to survive. The remainder of this four-CD set comprises all of the live material that exists of the Louis Armstrong All-Stars during their visits to Scandinavia. Satch is featured on two numbers from 1949 and on extended sets from 1952, 1955, 1959 and 1967. Armstrong, whose chops were in great form in the 1950s, became more predictable as the decade progressed. But he never lost his enthusiasm, showmanship or ability to toss in subtle surprises. These well-recorded performances are full of joy and there are some surprisingly boppish moments along the way, including pianist Marty Napoleon on “Indiana” in 1952 and Armstrong singing the bridge of “Pretty Little Missy” in 1955.

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