Louis Armstrong: Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (live, 1956)


Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans (live, 1956)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)


Basin Street Blues (1201 Music 9007)

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Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals), Edmund Hall (clarinet),

Trummy Young (trombone), Billy Kyle (piano), Dale Jones (bass), Barrett Deems (drums)


Composed by Louis Alter & Eddie De Lange


Recorded: live in concert, July 1956


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Obviously, in the aftermath of the Katrina devastation, the meaning and impact of this song got a boost. The lyrics are a nostalgic celebration of that special place at the end of the Mississippi. The musical theme is especially melodious and nicely conveys the sentiment about the Crescent City; from the opening bars flowing from Armstrong's horn, the good feeling emanates. The enthusiastic wave of applause at the end manifests peoples' strong response to that sentiment and their appreciation for the musical feelings bestowed on them by the band.

There is no one who can sing the evocative lyrics like Satchmo, and he soulfully caresses the tune, letting it warmly simmer and flow like a lazy midsummer day in steamy New Orleans. The band contributes quintessential old New Orleans polyphonic playing as an ensemble. And on this slow, nostalgic tune, Edmund Hall almost musters some good tone on his clarinet. If I have a quibble beyond Hall's (not-as-bad-as-usual) tone, it is that the ensemble playing is not quite as perfectly melded together as on "Basin Street Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" from the same CD.

Reviewer: Dean Alger

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