Louis Armstrong: Chinatown, My Chinatown


Chinatown, My Chinatown


Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra


Louis Armstrong Vol. 7: You're Drivin' Me Crazy (Columbia 48828)

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Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals),

Zilner Randolph (trumpet), Preston Jackson (trombone), Lester Boone, George James, Albert Washington (reeds); Charlie Alexander (piano), Mike McKendrick (banjo, guitar), John Lindsay (bass), Tubby Hall (drums)


Composed by Jean Schwartz and William Jerome


Recorded: Chicago, November 3, 1931


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Louis Armstrong's path-breaking recordings from the 1920s get most of the attention from jazz experts. But the trumpeter's recordings from the early 1930s include many of the finest performances of his career, and deserve to be far better known. Satchmo starts off this track with some lighthearted banter, and he won't let you forget that he is an entertainer as well as a jazzman. But there is no shortage of artistry here for those who listen. He dishes out one of his finest vocals, relaxed and off-the-cuff, but also full of swing. Then he follows up with a bravura solo, spiced with plenty of high notes. He had just turned 30 a few weeks before this date, and was at the top of the jazz world, unchallenged by any serious rival. A great moment for Armstrong, and for us to savor years later.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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