The Monterey Jazz Festival reached the half-century mark in 2007, being the only jazz festival held at the same venue for 50 straight years. While there have been “live at Monterey” recordings before, most notably the arguable high points in the careers of Charles Mingus (1964), John Handy (1965) and Charles Lloyd (1966), for the first time the festival itself has begun issuing recordings from its own archives on the Monterey Jazz Festival label. Since I wrote the liner notes to Sarah Vaughan’s Live at the 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival, I will refrain from commenting on that CD. While none of the other sets caused a major impact in the careers of the leaders, each contains worthwhile music. Louis Armstrong’s Live at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival features Satch at the debut festival running through his repertoire with his all-stars, featuring trombonist Trummy Young and clarinetist Peanuts Hucko. Armstrong plays less trumpet than usual, but his vocals are in prime form.
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