Album Review: Louis Armstrong — The Nightclubs
A new compilation from Dot Time Records brings together an assortment of live performances by Luis Armstrong. Dating from the first half of the 1950s, these nine tracks (seven more on the CD version not reviewed here) document Satchmo playing with small ensembles in New York City and San Francisco clubs.
The playing is spirited, and support by Armstrong associates Jack Teagarden (trombone), drummer Cozy Cole and pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines is superb. The audio quality – recorded for broadcast, apparently – is only fair, but the historical importance of these recordings offsets any concerns in that regard. Armstrong takes the lead vocal throughout, sometimes joined by Velma Middleton. The source tapes were provided by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and a brief Ricky Riccardi liner note essay provides listeners with context for the recordings.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.