It is good for the psyche to return now and then to the man who made jazz a soloist’s art. We needn’t go all the way back to Louis Armstrong’s duets with King Oliver or his Hot Five recordings. The earliest of these previously unreleased performances find him on tour in Copenhagen and Stockholm in 1933, firmly established as a major star and greeted with wild enthusiasm. Storyville suggests that these six tracks may be the earliest known concert recordings by a jazz artist. “I Cover the Waterfront,” “Dinah” and the others hew to the routines Armstrong established with his studio versions, but they have the excitement of his relationship with live audiences.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.