Louis Armstrong: The Memphis Blues


The Memphis Blues


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)


Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy (Columbia 64925)

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Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals), Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Billy Kyle (piano), Arvell Shaw (bass), Barrett Deems (drums).

Composed by W.C. Handy


Recorded: Chicago, July 13, 1954


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

This pairing of Armstrong’s artistry with Handy’s music seems so obvious that one might question why it took until 1954 to become a reality—but let’s just be glad that it did. Armstrong’s vocal is charming as always, and Young and Bigard add some complimentary commentary. The power of Armstrong’s trumpet sound will never be surpassed, nor will the elegance, emotional weight, and indisputable logic of his improvisations. Some fans will eternally wish that Louis played more trumpet in his later years, but listeners will be hard-pressed to imagine any more notes being added to this perfect solo. After you hear it once, you’ll never want to hear it any other way.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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