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    1. Louis Armstrong - All-Time Greatest
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    2. On the Track
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    3. Best Of Ella Fitzgerald &
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    4. Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original
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    5. Euphonic Sounds
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    6. The Hot Fives & Sevens [JSP]
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    7. Double Time
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    8. What a Wonderful World [GRP]
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    9. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
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    10. The Jelly Roll Joys
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    11. Marching Down Bourbon Street
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    12. Porgy & Bess
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    13. Daddies Sing GoodNight: A Fathers'
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    14. Up a Lazy River (Reis)
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    15. Ken Burns's Jazz: The Story of
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    16. Nipper's Greatest Hits - The 20's
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    17. The Best of Pete Fountain
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    18. Branch to Branch
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    19. The Great Summit: The Master Takes
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    20. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise

    1. Louis Armstrong - All-Time Greatest Hits
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002ORZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 603
    Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (48)

    5-0 out of 5 stars All-Time Greatest Hits Indeed!!
    This CD is wonderful! Every song is excellent, every tune fun and nice to listen to.

    All of Armstrong's best known songs are present from "Hello Dolly" to "Mack the Knife." One of my all time favorite songs from Armstrong is on this CD as well: "Sittin' in the Sun." Moreover, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" a song which also appears on the "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack, and "What a Wonderful Life," probably one of Louis most famous songs are present as well.

    As always Louis has a very distinctive voice which sounds great with all the tunes. The mix contains ragtime style, to pure Jazz, to big band style. Every song on this CD is great! There are no bad apples in the bunch! If you are a big Jazz fan, then you will not want to be without this CD. This CD always puts a smile on my face when I listen to it because Louis' music is so fun to hear. This one of my favorite CDs in my overall collection!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A GUY FROM NEW ORLEANS SAYS IT'S THE BEST LOUIS OF THEM ALL!
    1 KNOW THERE ARE A LOT (ABOUT 35, ACTUALLY) OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S GREATEST HITS CDs OUT THERE. I HAVE 31 OF HIS TAPES AND CDs MYSELF! JAZZ IS MY FAVORITE MUSIC (THAT AND GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL), AND BEING ORIGINALLY FROM NEW ORLEANS, DOWN SOUTH, I HAVE HEARD MORE JAZZ THAN MOST. BUT I JUST HAVE TO SAY THAT OF ALL THE LOUIS BEST ALBUMS, THIS ONE CONTAINS THE MOST OF HIS REALLY, TRULY BEST NUMBERS.

    THE MOST POPULAR SONGS ON THIS RECORD INCLUDE: MACK THE KNIFE, HELLO DOLLY, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD, BLUEBERRY HILL, LA VIE EN ROSE, WHEN IT'S SLEEPY TIME DOWN SOUTH AND MANY MORE--ALL GREAT!!! MY FAVORITE TWO ARE "SKOKIAAN" AND "SITTIN' IN THE SUN." THERE ARE 18 TRACKS TOTAL, AND HONESTLY, I NEVER WANT TO FAST FORWARD THROUGH ANY OF THEM!!!

    I LISTEN TO THIS CD CONSTANTLY (IT'S PLAYING NOW!!!!) AND I NEVER TIRE OF ITS UP-LIFTING, SWINGIN', CAN'T HELP BUT SMILING AND LAUGHING COLLECTION. IT'S SUCH A "FEEL GOOD" CD THAT I GIVE IT TO MY DEPRESSED FRIENDS TO CHEER THEM UP. IT WORKS; I SWEAR! AND I DON'T MIND ADMITTING THAT IT HAS GOTTTEN ME OUT OF MANY BAD MOOD.

    AS THE BEATNIK'S WOULD SAY, "THIS MUSIC MAKES YOU SOAR, MAN!"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Louis Armstrong Was The Epitome Of Jazz And Always Will Be
    The above caption comes from the seven pages of wonderful liner notes written by Will Friedwald, the author of Jazz Singing, and is attributed to the great Duke Ellington. Who, it is safe to say, knew what he was talking about when it came to Jazz.

    Interspersed with the notes are a few more photographs of Louis and several LP/45/78 reproductions. A discography of the contents completes the package, although chart performances are not recorded.

    Louis, of course, was selling thousands upon thousands of records long before there were charts, and after the advent of the Most-Played Juke Box Race Records charts [now R&B charts) in the mid-1940s, he had hits with I Wonder (#5 in 1945) and The Frim Fram Sauce (# 4 in 1946 in a duet with Ella Fitgerald). That same year he and Ella cracked the pop charts with You Won't Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart (# 10) backed with Bob Haggart & His Orchestra. None of these, unfortunately, are included here.

    In 1949 he made it to both charts simultaneously with That Lucky Old Sun [track 7] on which he began a lucrative association with Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra [# 14 on what had become known by then as the Most-Played Juke Box Rhythm And Blues Records charts] and # 19 pop. That, incidentally, would be the last time he would chart on anything related to R&B.

    From there until 1966 he would chalk up 18 more pop hits, mostly for Decca, but also for the Capitol, Columbia [Mack The Knife], Kapp, ABC, and Mercury labels. In this volume you get all but the # 30 1950 duet with Ella, Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No), Now You Has Jazz, a 1956 # 88 duet with Bing on Capitol from the film High Society, So Long Dearie (# 56 in 1964 for Mercury), and Mame (# 81 in 1966 for Mercury).

    What A Wonderful World first charted at # 12 on the Adult Contemporary Charts in 1966 for ABC, and in 1968 a re-release "bubbled under" on the Billboard pop charts at # 116. However, following the release of the film Good Morning Vietnam it reached # 32 pop in 1988 for A&M, and in 1999 the same recording, overdubbed by the sax of Kenny G, reached # 53 for the Arista label.

    The sound quality on all tracks is superb and this is one of the best CDs on the market covering his hit singles.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great
    This is a Very Good cd listen to 11

    5-0 out of 5 stars Smiles and Tears: Perfect Introducton to Jazz
    Louis Armstrong brought such emotions to my music collection. My, a child grew up on rap, fell in love with and old dead man and his beautiful songs. He introducted me to jazz music and expanded my horizons.

    That was three years ago. I now am a jazz fanatic. Louis brought my jazz life out of the womb. This ablum lacks the great early jazz recorded by Satchmo and some increditable duets with Ella Fitsgerald and many more. But one CD can only be so long and like I said a perfect introduction to jazz music specifically Louis Armstrong. God Bless and RIP. ... Read more


    2. On the Track
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B000002KG2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3647
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Once cited by Bob Dylan as the first performer he'd want to sign to his own label, Leon Redbone instead made his 1976 recording debut with Warner Brothers. On the Track carries a "very special thanks" to Jelly Roll Morton and Jimmie Rodgers, and indeed sounds like the offspring of the pioneering jazzman and the early hillbilly blues singer, with perhaps a bit of Bing Crosby tossed in. Aided by a small horn section (including a prominent tuba) and violinist Joe Venuti, among others, the disc is a gorgeous, affectionate tribute to pre-World War II vernacular music. Redbone croons and growls his way through a repertoire that includes Rodgers, Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, and "Polly Wolly Doodle," the last of which inspired album-cover artist Chuck Jones to include "a grasshopper sittin' on the railroad track... pickin' his teeth with a carpet tack." Redbone and crew rise to peak after peak (hear Venuti's finessed high-wire act on "Some of These Days"), resulting in a record that makes for perfect Saturday night and Sunday morning listening. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best of the best
    leon redbone. what to say? the man that no one can even believe is white! from his four saturday night live appearances to several tonight show appearances (both of which have turned unsuspecting audience members into fans), leon redbone is somewhat of a mystery in the world of showbusiness. in concert he blows bubbles and takes pictures of the crowd while he lets his ragtime pianist 'take it away.' his record company doesn't even know his home address or his real name. in fact, no one knows his real name, age, or anything. some people believe even the voice he sings with is not his natural singing voice, but rather the perfect voice to accompany his style and stage presence. at one of the concerts i attended, he insisted on being called "baron."

    i'm a huge, huge fan of leon. i've seen him in concert twice; i own all his cds that i know of (12) and 4 lps. needless to say, he's just the best. and, most importantly, this is HIS best. the slow, mumbling, growling vocals (these are the least precise vocals of all of his albums) fit perfectly with anything from ragtime to country to blues. this cd contains everything from a wonderful version of "ain't misbehavin" to "polly wolly doodle" with more lesser known songs being some of the best tracks presented (big chief buffalo nickel, lulu's back in town). this is the best of the best--no doubt about it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Never Tire of This One
    I've had this one for many, many years and I never get tired of it. Not a clinker in the bunch (I even like Polly Wolly). Leon has a sort of irreverent, off beat approach to these old jazz classics that is just plain fun to listen to. He'll improvise horn fanfare with just his lips, or mix words around to his liking that in no way diminishes the tune (as it usually does with other artists). Plus, he surrounds himself with real talent. His version of Ain't Misbehavin' would make Al Jolson himself beam with pride. I can't say enough good about this one. It's a keeper!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and Excellent
    This album is an excellent collection of music from the 1920s and 30s, brought back to life by a talented and eccentric artist. Some of the songs you'll recognize, such as "Ain't Misbehavin'", while some will be charmingly new. My favorite is "Walking Stick", with its sly sexual reference to "the thing that makes [him] glad on Lover's Lane". There's no attempt to modernize these songs, as artists in past decades have been wont to do. Instead, Leon keeps true to the old style, the Dixie, Delta blues and ragtime jazz that made these songs so popular to begin with. I recommend this album with my whole heart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank God I found this CD!!
    I bought the record when it first came out. My expensive stylii finally wore it out. I've never played a record till it wore away so thank God I found this CD today. Rum pum pum.... :-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Leon's jazzy, ragtime music is ice cream for the ears!
    On the Track is a fantastic album filled with songs that make you feel like you've been time warped back to the roaring twenties and the whole family is sitting next to the radio after supper. I've never heard a man's voice reach such deep tones. His music makes me smile. ... Read more


    3. Best Of Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000047FO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1047
    Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Ella Fitzgerald's voice was satin to Louis Armstrong's sandpaper, but when you put them together on a single song, their chemistry was unimpeachable. This disc selects highlights from the three albums they made together at Verve (including their Porgy and Bess), and adds a spiffy live track from the Hollywood Bowl. Though they don't harmonize much (Armstrong's voice wasn't built for harmony), Ella's dignified swing and flashes of teasing wit play off Satchmo's gritty, good-humored roar symbiotically. The material is mostly lightweight Tin Pan Alley stuff (lots of Gershwin, plus the likes of "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"), and they fly it like a kite. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Perfection
    Who would have thought that it could have worked? The pitch-perfect, articulate, and yes, angelic voice of Ella Fitzgerald combined with the gravelly grunts and growls of Louis Armstrong...Two very different singers with very different styles getting together to record? But it does work, and the result is absolute perfection.

    The way Louis and Ella blend, harmonize, and play off each other is simply astounding to hear. And I think that's the secret of why these two superstars were such stellar musicians: They loved making music. Just listen to the fun they're having on "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Been Good to You." It's not only delightful, it's heavenly. Listen and lose yourself in the slow, unhurried harmonies of "Stars Fell on Alabama." And from the opening, emotion-packed trumpet statement of "Summertime," you know you're in for a powerful listening experience.

    It's rare that you find a musician who really, I mean REALLY loves performing. To find two such artists on the same disc? Indescribable. These two greats were put on this earth to make music and they made music with all their might. And we're fortunate enough to have it with us. This disc is heaven. Buy it. Treasure it forever.

    TOTAL TIME: 68:03

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect album for a summer evening
    Ella and Louis provide the perfect soothing music for a summer evening on this cd. Ella's singing is not quite as crisp as I've heard on some other recordings, but these two jazz vocalists compliment each other wonderfully. If you like this, check out Ella's "Best of the Songbooks" or Louis with another jazz genius on the cd "Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Let's Call the Whole Thing Awesome
    This is a truly fantastic collection of classics and there's pretty much nothing I can add to it...it's untouchable. May I recommend lighting some candles, clearing off the floor and swinging away the night with your lovey dovey, socks optional. I mean, this is not a pathetic waste of money or time... you deserve the best, and it doesn't get any better than Ella and Louey!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Who Gets Five Stars If Not These Two?
    For many, the names of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are synonyms for jazz. The two knew each other well but it is rather surprising that they did not record more than three albums together. These are: "Ella and Louis", "Ella and Louis Again" and "Porgy and Bess". In 1997, the Verve label selected the cream of the three albums for this compilation.

    Picking the best of the three must have been pretty difficult. But on the other hand, there was nothing to be screwed up, it all sounds so good... As the liner notes say, 'the voices could hardly be more different,' but how well they went together. Smokey, throaty "Pops" and pure, glittering Ella... and THEY DID MUCH OF THIS STUFF WITH JUST ABOUT NO REHEARSAL! Armstrong adds his trumpet to many of the complation's selections, too.

    From the first "Ella And Louis" LP, this collection contains "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Under A Blanket Of Blue", "Tenderly", "Stars Fell On Alabama" and the glorious take of "The Nearness Of You".

    Selections from "Ella And Louis Again" are, in my opinion, slightly lacking in comparison with the first album, but, nevertheless, they're still awfully good. Here we have six of them: "Autumn In New York", "Stompin' At The Savoy", "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You", "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off", the wonderful "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" and "Love Is Here To Stay."

    As for "Porgy and Bess", no representative selection of Ella and Louis (or even of one of them) would do without the heavenly version of "Summertime." Also, Ella sings "I Wants To Stay Here" and Satchmo has his "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York" here.

    The last track, "You Won't Be Satisfied" was recorded live in front of the audience and is a wonderful treat and the great closer for this impeccable CD.

    There could be a lot more to say about this particular album. It should be an essential purchase for any jazz fan. Indeed, for every music fan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magical!
    I can listen to this CD forever. The magical and silky voice of Ella together with Louis's trumpet and vocals takes you to another world.. I am a jazz fan and this is one of the best CDs that I've ever listened to.. A must-have! ... Read more


    4. Ragtime - The Musical (1998 Original Broadway Cast)
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $22.99
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    Asin: B0000064XS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3679
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    The epic sweep of Ragtime is captured in its opening prologue, a nine-minute kaleidoscope of fictional characters mingling with historical figures from the early 20th century as originally captured in E.L. Doctorow's sprawling novel. As the story continues, we meet pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Brian Stokes Mitchell) and his child's mother, Sarah (Audra McDonald), who has been taken in by a respectable family (including Marin Mazzie as Mother). Parallel story lines of the Latvian immigrant Tateh (Peter Friedman), the entertainer Evelyn Nesbit (Lynnette Perry), and even Harry Houdini (Jim Corti) and Emma Goldman (Judy Kaye) eventually mingle and merge. Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island) mix marches, cakewalks, and of course ragtime to create a rich, compelling score, including Sarah's song to her baby, "Your Daddy's Son," her soaring duet with Coalhouse, "Wheels of a Dream," Mother's self-revealing "Back to Before," and numerous set pieces, all performed by a perfect cast. Ragtime was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1998, with wins for McDonald, original score, book, and orchestration.The CD also includes an eight-minute symphonic suite conducted by Paul Gemignani and a booklet with photos, full lyrics, and a history of how the score was written. Tragic, touching, and ultimately triumphant, Ragtime is an American classic. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

    Reviews (140)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ragtime shows muiscal theater has a future!
    In a time when Sondheim is unfortunatly writing fewer musicals and Lloyd Webber tends to be dominating with his somewhat gratuitous "blockbusters," Ragtime is the glimmer of light through the hopes of the stages resonance. In this musical you have a show with a excellent melodius score and wonderfully resounding lyrics. This proves that the "classic" musical will still be around as longs as Stephen Flaherty is around to composer more music. This is a two cd set with full libretto and a top-notch original cast.

    Brian Stokes Mitchell, as Coalhouse Walker, gives a stunning versitile and energetic performance. Marin Mazzie, who is usually superb, soars higher then she ever has as Mother (Although with the revival of Kiss Me Katie now out, that might be a challenged comment). Audra McDonald sings and acts her way to a much deserved Tony. She takes her supporting role and makes it shine, while not distracting from Mr. Mitchell. Peter Friedman is superb in the role of the immigrant, Tateh. He brings such charm and inncocense to the role the listener falls into his grasp. These characters along with wonderful supporting characters help make this show one of the best to come along in nearly a decade.

    If you feel like the classic American musical is gone forever buy this cd and Im sure you will feel differently after the first listen. Every song is beautifully resonant of every culture and time period depicted in the show. Ragtime is, indeed, a dream come true.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Ragtime" Rules!!
    WOW! Is no wonder that the songwriting team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens won the Tony Award for Best Original Score! Always engaging, this soundtrack is a Broadway musical triumph with incedible and moving performances from Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, and three time Tony winner Audra McDonald. From humerous tracks like "The Crime of the Century", "What a Game!", and "The Show Biz" to emotional tracks like "Your Daddy's Son", "Wheels of a Dream", and "Back to Before", I recommend this CD to any Broadway fan! "Ragtime" rules!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Show
    I think this show is amazing. Absolutely point blank amazing. I am in the show right now and I play the role of Sarah and I can't get enough of Audra McDonald. Amazing. What else can I say? And I am also writing in protest, because there is this extremely stupid person who writes negative reviews about every musical ever. I am very frustrated after hearing their opinion about Ragtime, Wicked, Le Miz, Little Shop, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Phantom of the Opera, Urinetown, Once on this Island, and a ton of others. Are you some kind of idiot? Wow you are rediculously dumb. Because honestly, you hate every show in existance. And really, why do you bother to review any of them? We know you hate everything ever written. What's the point. And really its amazing because I have never in my whole life met someone who hates as many of the greatest shows ever as you do. Next you're going to decide to hate Miss Saigon, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Cabaret, Parade, Songs for a New World, oh and wait, everything else EVER. I am very angry right now. VERY. You are the dumbest person that has ever existed and I would just like you to know that. As for everyone else reading this, ignore this person's reviews. Their opinion means absolutely nothing to almost everyone. I think 4 people found any of this person's 12 reviews helpful. REDICULOUS. And who are you exactly to be discussing anyone else's performance, since I doubt you have any talent and I really doubt you have been on broadway. And since you haven't...

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this CD and this show
    This CD was like the best thing I've heard in a while. IF you haven't heard it, go find it because you are missing out on something good. I've heard Audra McDonald sing "Daddy's Son" a billion times and I still get teary. That should tell you something about her performance. Some of Mother's work also makes me teary. I'm serious: GET THIS CD!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good also from experience...
    I was recently involved in a production of "Ragtime" at my community theater. It is not only one of the best shows we have ever done, it is also an amazing show within itself. I purchased this cd shortly after to get the chance to listen to every song with this cast. I am so amazed by the pure talent shown in every single song. Mind you, it's not one of the usual musicals. This one has more emotion and raw feelings involved, and doesn't have a happy show stopper ever 5 minutes. it does, on the other hand, have mind blowing songs that show the true talent of these performers. My personal favorites are "Wheels of a Dream", "Your Daddy's Son", "Til We Reach That Day", and "He Wanted to Say". I hope you buy this cd and go see the show, it's one of the best shows I have ever seen. ... Read more


    5. Euphonic Sounds
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $14.98
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    Asin: B000006AH7
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 25992
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    These days, only a handful of living artists can make ragtime music sound truly exciting. Chicago's Reginald R. Robinson is one of them. On Euphonic Sounds, he performs "Joplin Song Fragment"--a never-before-recorded composition that he discovered in a photo of Scott Joplin's piano. From that intriguing opener, Robinson launches into great rags by Joplin, Louis Chauvin, Joseph Lamb, Joe Jordan, and James Scott. His technique is impeccable, his tempos are quick, and he attacks the piano with gusto. In a handful of his original compositions, we can hear just how far Robinson has taken ragtime. His "Space Coaster Ride" is quick-tempoed and gorgeous, with hints of blues; "Truly Yours" is a lovely sentimental number; and "The Daredevil's Gallop" is a rollicking good time. Great recorded sound captures it all. For rag lovers, this is a must-have disc. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer delight from beginning to end!
    Reginald Robinson has a passion for ragtime music, and it shows. This CD is sheer delight from beginning to end! He performs works by his major inspirations (Scott Joplin, Louis Chauvin) and also his own original works. I especially enjoyed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" which is performed in a very singable key, and which probably sounds much as the song would have been performed back in 1900. You can learn more about black composers at my website CreativeFolk.com

    5-0 out of 5 stars Instant Euphoria
    Mr.Robinson has taken classics of Ragtime, plus his own contemporary gems and incorporated them into a single CD that will revive Ragtime for many years to come. A truly outstanding production. ... Read more


    6. The Hot Fives & Sevens [JSP] [Box]
    list price: $28.98
    our price: $25.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00001ZWLP
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2297
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Between 1925 and 1929, Louis Armstrong created one of the first great bodies of work in jazz. While he worked regularly as a soloist with big bands, he began his career as a leader with the first all-star studio group in jazz, the Hot Five. The other four musicians were Armstrong's wife, Lil Hardin Armstrong, on piano; Johnny Dodds on clarinet; Kid Ory on trombone; and Johnny St. Cyr on banjo. The music's first great soloist, Armstrong was reshaping jazz by sheer improvisational magic, gradually diminishing the role of the traditional New Orleans ensemble with the clarion brilliance of his trumpet. Possessing an uncanny blend of exuberance and creativity, he combined virtuosic declarations with a talent for the subtlest shifts in phrasing and melodic variation, creating rich emotional statements that could hint at loss in the midst of joy or the promise of better things in the most sorrowful blues. The band expands here, to the Hot Seven and larger ensembles, and it gains soloists who applied Armstrong's lessons to their own instruments--musicians such as pianist Earl Hines and trombonist Jack Teagarden--but all come under the imprint of Armstrong's flowering genius, as both trumpeter and singer.

    It's almost impossible to overrate this material. It may be the most influential music in jazz history, establishing standards for originality and sustained invention that have rarely been matched. The JSP set is a superb reissue of Armstrong's essential work. The remastering is by John R.T. Davies, widely acknowledged as the dean of engineers in the field of early jazz, and the resultant sound is simply the best this work has ever enjoyed. There are alternate takes of the later material on Columbia Legacy (including Louis in New York and St. Louis Blues), so collectors will want both. But this recording is superior listening, at a price that also makes it an ideal introduction to one of the few titans of jazz. --Stuart Broomer ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    5-0 out of 5 stars When Jazz became art in the horn of the first Jazz Giant
    This JSP selection of 89 tracks comprehensively captures Louis Armstrong's Hot 5 and 7s groups period in the 1920s. During this period, Louis Armstrong's virtuoso trumpet playing led the way for the transformation of the emerging music called Jazz from a primitive entertainment into a transcendent art. Apart from possessing great technical skill and a rhythmic sense ahead of his time, Armstrong exuded an infectious joy in his playing that somehow transported the listener into a sense of beauty and wonder. It is happy, uplifting music.

    The sound of the set is clear for material recorded in the 1920s. Certain elements such as the simple piano rhythms and Kid Ory's non-stop trombone comping in Discs 1 and 2 may seen anachronistic to the modern post-bebop taste, but the datedness is dispelled the moment Mr Armstong blows his horn. I found Disc 3 to contain the best tracks of the lot, where Louis found in pianist Earl Hines a musical partner with a more modern rhythmic sensibility. The standout of the set is the classic, lyrical "West End Blues", with Armstrong's showstopping trumpet intro. All in all, The Hot Fives & Sevens JSP Box set is a good buy if you're a jazz fan or someone able to appreciate good music wherever it may be found.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Essential Jazz Recordings of All-Time
    A young Armstrong sours to unreachable heights with the lightening speed and elegant grace of his cornet and trumpet in these timeless, highly essential recordings. Hot Five and Sevens is Pure Bliss!! Highlights include "Heebie Jeebies" (introduction to scat singing), "Cornet Chop Suey", Potato Head Blues", "Hotter Than That", "West End Blues" (with it's single note held in time for four bars), "Tight Like This", "Mohogany Hall Stomp" and "Ain't Misbehavin'", but every track (all 89) are essential and timeless!! Each song gives you a new theme and adventure. Louis's band is tight with tremendous focus on their instruments. They complement their leader with hot jams and dignified unity. Even if your new to jazz you will truly enjoy these recordings. You won't get bored with these CD's. In fact, you will discover new treasures with each listening. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Excellent music at an excellent price.

    Hats off to R.T Davies and the rest of gang at JSP, these tracks have superior sound for their original 1925-1929 recordings. This 4 CD Box Set includes 3 pages of in-depth liner notes in each jewel case (for each vol). You also get track by track info on back of each jewel case with recording dates, and musicians for each session.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Columbia or JSP?
    The sound quality of these disks is amazing when you consider how long ago the music was recorded (1920's). Sure, it's a little noisy, but to eliminate it would require suppressing the high end. I think what it boils down to is this: If you object to some hiss and popping, and you value a nice booklet full of information and pictures, get the Columbia set. If you can tolerate some noise in exchange for the best possible sound, and you're willing to forfeit the booklet, this is what you want.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Satch never sounded so good!
    If you're in the market for some classic Louis Armstrong (and even if you're not!) get this set! Finally, all of Louis Armstrong's classic Hot 5's and Hot 7's (with existing alternates and some extras) are collected in stunning sound quality. Even though I already owned the Columbia set of these recordings, when I heard John R. T. Davies and JSP Records were offering this set, I hurried to buy my copy. At slightly more than six dollars per disc, it's a remarkable value! And the sound...

    Unlike the folks at Columbia, who tried to remove every last trace of surface noise--often at the expense of losing the sharpness or clarity of the original recording, John R. T. Davies in restoring this set has allowed a little surface noise from the original records to remain in the final CD's. What you get, though, is unbelievable clarity and "presence" that is otherwise lost. The engineers at OKeh Records were top-notch in the 1920s and managed to capture Louis's rich, full-bodied tone. Happily, John R. T. Davies was able to bring out all those sparkling highs and warm, mellow lows from the old records for this set. The Columbia discs sound dull and lifeless next to these.

    Keep in mind that these sides were recorded 75 years ago. If you absolutely detest the sound of record surface noise, and and are willing to put up with muffled, dampened sound, you may be better off with the Columbia discs, but if you don't mind the occasional light crackle, you will be well rewarded clarity and brilliance beyond any previous issues of these recordings.

    One final comment: if you plan on reading the excellent liner notes that go along with this set, shop around for a good magnifying glass. Fortunately, I have good eyesight, but by the time I finished reading the liner notes, my eyes hurt. The print is tiny!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The true "King of Jazz"
    This special priced set has all the recordings of Louis Armstrong with his Hot Fives and Sevens. I had them all on LP and considered them the pinnacle of my music collection, and the pinnacle of 20th century music in general.

    These recordings feature Armstrong in a period when his trumpet playing received more attention than his singing. He did sing beautifully - as heard on "I am not Rough", "Gully Low Blues" etc. But the trumpet does lead the way. The trumpet on "Tight like That", "West End Blues", "Potatoe head Blues" - what a musical genius it took to produce such music !!! I feel that these recordings have the power to change people's whole view of life - it certainly changed mine.

    There are guest appearances by the great blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson, great clarinet from Johnny Dodds, great piano work by Earl Hines, great ensamble playing. I use the word "great" here without fear of misuse - everything here is truly great.

    People who are used to Armstrong's later work - Hello Dolly, Blueberry Hill - might need some time to get used to these 1920's recordings. I strongly advise them to make the effort - because the rewards are fantastic.

    All tracks are great. I do feel like singling out "Tight like That", "West End Blues", "Potato head blues", "Muggles"
    "Mahagoney Hall Stomp", "Cornet Chop Suey", "Hotter Than That"...
    I play them to my 4 years old child and she loves it !

    The historic importance of these recordings has been correctly mentioned by others. But what it really comes down to is that here is a gift to humanity that we should all share and enjoy. ... Read more


    7. Double Time
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000002KGI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8309
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars leon in the early years
    i believe this is the second leon redbone album, and it is one of his best efforts. if you are unsure about leon redbone, listen to a sample of "diddy wah diddy," the first track off this album. if you only like serious musicians, you will not like this. there is no doubt this album was fun to make, but the instrumentalists are all professional-caliber musicians and the arrangements (all arrangements on any of his albums are by leon himself) are minimal and superb.

    this album covers classics from hank williams to the authorless "jelly roll baker," and makes all the songs sound like his own. this album also contains one of my personal favorites, "the sheik of araby," which contains at least a full minute of nonsensical mouth effects in the style of fats waller. this is probably my second favorite leon redbone cd, and i own every last one of them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good music, good fun
    Leon Redbone is kind of like that favorite uncle who knew all of the interesting stuff and you suspected of having all sorts of adventures.
    The music is uncommon both in content and quality. Redbone often had a taste for fun music that sounded like it should have been recorded 70 years earlier. Most people could not get away with that. But as far as that goes how many performers would you pay attention to singing about laundry detergent or beer?
    Just as much fun as on the track and fun for the whole family.

    5-0 out of 5 stars *REAL* Music!! You'll love it.
    Only one review listed on this CD. I couldn't pass up a chance to rave about it. I bought the record when it first came out in the 1970s and promptly wore it out along with several other Redbone albums. The songs are classics, the artist equal to the best who ever performed them. If you want a bite of musical history, a relaxing half an hour of pure entertainment and the nostalgic whimsy of real americana, you MUST have this CD!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun, makes you happy kind of music
    Uniquely Leon is this jazz trumpet style voice. His tunes are light and easy and lift your spirit with their simple lyrics and fun tempos. If you listen to music for fun, you will love this album. ... Read more


    8. What a Wonderful World [GRP]
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B000003N4G
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2117
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    MCA. 1988. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Sunshine of Love
    This recording shows Louis Armstrong at his best. He is consummate musical professionalism in the service of tenderness and swing.

    The CD begins with the song: 'What a Wonderful World' which was played at both my Father's and Sister's wedding, So there is a deep sentimental connection to my family sacramental history.

    The CD ends with the mischievous joy of the sprite like: 'Hellzapoppin'. Here we see that Mr. Armstrong was no stranger to a good time.

    Louis' music as been shared by many generations of both listeners and performers alike. Let us hope that many others may share in his unique and irreplaceable spirit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "What A Wonderful World"
    "What A Wonderful World is the greatest song ever written. It is the only memory that I have of my Grandfather who passed away a very very long time ago. I have never met my grandfather before. It is also special because when he was alive, he could sing this song the same exact way Louis Armstrong did and sounded just like him. That was a special gift my grandad had, was his voice and his music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars my first louis armstrong album
    I bought this album shortly after "Good Morning Vietnam" came out. I bought it mainly for the title song. However, after listening to the other songs, I began to like the whole album. Louis was one great artist.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Armstrong
    while this set isn't nearly long enough Miles Davis said it Best when Summing Up Louis Armstrong:Quote You Can't Play anything He didn't already.The Man not only on Trumpet but also Voice had a way of getting His Signature sound across.He truly Stands out in any Style of Music He was truly a One of a Kind Artist&Musician."What a Wonderful World" is a Must have.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 30 minutes of Armstrong's most commercial music
    While this record is indeed Louis Armstrong, and therefore better than 98% of the music available out there, it is only of marginal interest when considered within the specific context of Louis Armstrong's incredible and revoluitionary career. The disc is only 31 minutes long, which in the age of CDs is unforgivable. This is a great record for those with a superficial interest in Satchmo, especially those who want to have "It's a Wonderful World" in their collection, but not for anyone interested in exploring Armstrong's unmatched capabilities as a true jazz virtuoso. Most of the tunes here are overproduced and highly orchestrated. Still, it is Louis Armstrong... ... Read more


    9. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
    list price: $31.98
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    Asin: B00000334U
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 24465
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    New Orleans' Henry Roeland Byrd wasn't the most polished of all the great R&B pianists of the '40s and '50s, but even Ray Charles and Otis Spann rarely matched his speed. This superb two-disc set repeats the Professor's signature style--a stomping left-hand bass and a right hand that flies all over the place--on classics such as "Tipitina," "Junco Partner," and "Ball the Wall." It begins in the early '50s, when 'Fess called his band Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers, and ends with an incredible, stretched-out live version of "Big Chief" (with Dr. John) and "Boogie Woogie" (with fellow New Orleans pianists Allen Toussaint and Tuts Washington).--Steve Knopper ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Many nights at Tip's
    No air-conditioning then, and after awhile you didn't even care anymore. With the Professor banging out the musical equal of both sugar and whiskey, life at that moment was pretty damn good there at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas Street.

    Yeah, yeah, you had to be there, but since you probably weren't, here's something for you so you can see what all the fuss is about. A little lagniappe for you at the end, too, with the Professor kickin' it way big with some friends.

    Meet you tomorrow at the Camelia for breakfast, cher. . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rockin' Oldies for the Hardcore Fess' Fan
    If you're lookin for a good mix of old school Jazz/Blues tunes, you've come to the right place. Fess' has a good list of classics ranging from hard-hitting Jazz to the soft Blues when you're in the mood. If you've ever wanted Fess' hits on one CD, here you are. Tipitina, Big Chief, Stag-O-Lee, it's all here.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Legend
    I have listened to this CD dozens of times in the last few months. Its joyous and uplifting yet still reflects some of the pain in the Professor's life. The little book with pictures and a mini biography that are included are worth the price of the 2 CD set. After listening once, you'll want to head to the Big Easy, stop at Tipitina's, and rub Fess' head for good luck. Those of you who have been there know what I'm talking about. The man is a true legend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars hey now baby
    I'd never heard note one of Fess' music when I bought this set. My gut said it would be good, and my gut turned out to be Nostradamus. The fact that this guy ever had trouble making ends meet is a testament to how upside down the music industry can be. I try to be sparing with the stars, and there is no doubt that this set deserves all five. This is pure good time music. The man was a party on the piano. I carried the CD with me everywhere I went for the first week I owned it. In my car, in my room, in other people's cars (I insisted, no one complained), in other people's rooms. Jerry Lee Lewis is nothing but watered down 'Fess. Take yours straight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars By far the most played CD I own
    This music is the richest sounding music the human ear has ever had the pleasure of hearing. From the Hadacol Bounce to Cuttin' out to Tipitina to etc. and beyond, every cut is played with that special Rhumba Boogie shuffle with the Proffessor singing at the top of his lungs. Whooaaahhh Lalalala. A whole lotta uh uh for you. This is the joy music was meant to be. And you too will be a Fess Fan! Just ask Fats Domino and John Bonham. ... Read more


    10. The Jelly Roll Joys
    list price: $15.98
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    Asin: B000001K1F
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 90399
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    11. Marching Down Bourbon Street
    list price: $7.98
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    Asin: B000002Z3M
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5046
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic New Orleans
    Anyone who has visited Preservation Hall in New Orleans will truly appreciate this CD as it captures the feeling of that great joyful and music-filled room. To those who have not been blessed with that experience, this CD will certainly whet your appetite for Dixieland. I have been a fan of New Orleans Jazz for over 50 years and never tire of listening to the old standards featured here. St. James Infirmary is one of my all-time favorites and is particulary good here. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is one of the most important groups preserving and promoting this kind of music. This is also a super value and offers a good way to sample this music. ... Read more


    12. Porgy & Bess
    list price: $14.98
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    Asin: B0000046Z5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2727
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Getting the two most personable voices in jazz to sing an hour's worth of George Gershwin's opera Porgy & Bess (Ella doing all the female parts, Satchmo all the male) was a good idea, but not quite as great as it sounded. Armstrong savors the down-and-dirty Charlestonisms that inspired the cadences of the music and lyrics, and they fit his happy rasp like an old shoe; Fitzgerald, conversely, sounds almost prissy every time she has to sing the word "ain't," though her melodic genius gets Gershwin's bold, supple tunes over. The arrangements are full-throttle Broadway, with a few leaps into Dixieland (including some fine Armstrong trumpet solos), but the disc works best when the vocalists break character and let their jazz side out. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Masterpiece!
    No matter what your musical taste, it's hard to imagine that you won't love this combination. Ella & Louis are, of course, the standards by which all other jazz vocalists learn and are judged; the music is Gershwin's great masterpiece (and one of the masterpieces of American music in general); ravishingly orchestrated, lovingly sung, and oh by the way, swingin' like Tiger Woods. Just the best in the biz, that's all. If you're a jazz aficionado or a Gershwin fan, you'll find a wealth to love and appreciate; if you're a casual listener, count on it!...This is music that'll just make you happy. Get it and enjoy it for the rest of your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Ella c.d. ever!
    This is my favorite Ella Fitzgerald cd! While Louis Armstrong's singing is gravelly and rough, Ella is smooth as silk-- they make a perfect combo. Although nearly every song is absolutely gorgeous, Ella's renditions of "Bess, You is My Woman Now", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'" and "I Wants to Stay Here" are to die for.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
    This is one of the 10 greatest jazz records made. As mentioned in the liner notes, for trumpet music of this style, Louis Armstrong had no peer. The contrast between the gravelly voice of Armstrong and the super sweet voice of Ella wears very well. The production was excellent, and frankly the famous opera stars on other records than often blast out Porgy and Bess don't do much for me. This is by far my favorite version of some really fantastic music by Gershwin, who is one of the greatest American composers.

    Young people will find this music as corny as Frank Sinatra, but it really is tremendous music and will stand the test of time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ELLA AND LOUIS
    The chemistry between ELLA and LOUIS was great.It was not evident to do PORGY and BESS with them,but it works splendidly.There is a minor setback for me:ELLA can't do MY MAN's GONE NOW the way SARAH VAUGHAN used to sing it,but the rest of the disc is so enjoyable that one can easily pass that over.I am happy that NORMAN GRANZ the producer succeeded in convincing LOUIS to tackle that project.It is really moving to hear him sing and play his instrument on those tracks,especially I GOT PLENTY OF NOTHIN' and THERE'S A BOAT LEAVING SOON FOR NEW YORK.If you have to choose among the many recordings of PORGY and BESS available,you have to go for that one,even if of course,this is not the complete work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ella + Louis + Gershwin? You do the math
    They may have been the most unlikely pair of entertainers to sing songs from an operatic production. Ella, while supremely talented, was not operatic in her style. Louis was far from that genre also. However, they took those songs and, as they always had, made them their own. That's why this is a successful musical equation. ... Read more


    13. Daddies Sing GoodNight: A Fathers' Collection of Sleepytime Songs
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B000000F3B
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6903
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Inspired by 1992's 'Til Their Eyes Shine: The Lullaby Album, an all-female collection of sleepy-time songs for children, Daddies Sing Good Night proves that men are no less tender in nurturing their wee ones. Or at least that's true of these men--including Jesse Winchester, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan, and the late Townes Van Zandt--who wrote the songs for their own offspring, and, in their day jobs, rank among the finest practitioners of folk, country, and bluegrass. In guiding their young charges to dreamworld, these fathers visit exotic lands, lonesome prairies, and even the wide heavens on the gossamer wings of horses. Parental listeners will likely detour into the recesses of their own hearts, in exploring the special bond and soothing strength of fatherhood. --Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Faithfully puts my son to sleep
    Though I'm not a country music fan, I enjoy listening to this CD, too. It's very soothing, and the songs are hearfelt with some truly precious lines. "Green-pea toes" comes to mind, along with "today you have the hands of a baby, tomorrow the hands of a lady."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tender Fathers Sweetly Sing
    Such a wonderful collection of loving songs, sung mostly by bluegrass and folk singers inspired by their own children. The words and melodies are both soothing to our baby and also so moving to her parents. Truly our favorite lullaby cd-- I would buy it for any parents who like good, folksy music and who have tender hearts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Our *favorite* lullaby CD!
    This is absolutely our favorite lullaby CD. Adults can enjoy the music as much as children can! We played this CD on the way home from the hospital with our son, and love it as much now that he is 6 months old as we did then. Some of the songs, such as "Little One," bring tears to my eyes, while my husband has a great time singing "My Little Buckaroo," to our son. A fantastic collection of songs!

    5-0 out of 5 stars My all-time favorite
    The baby might be tired of this one, but, I can't stop listening to it. A must own for babies and parents who hate banal "baby" music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I never get tired of this CD!
    I love, love, love this CD! I don't care for those typical, sappy lullaby CDs, but this CD is different. It has a wonderfully earthy, bluegrass feel to it. I get teary-eyed every single time I hear "Little One," and songs like "My Little Buckaroo" are so much fun! Mommies and Daddies both will love this CD. ... Read more


    14. Up a Lazy River (Reis)
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0002IQI2E
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 18753
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    15. Ken Burns's Jazz: The Story of American Music
    list price: $59.98
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    Asin: B000050HVG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1252
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (53)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love Jazz 2000
    I Love Jazz is a sampler that comes out every so often that tries to take the biggest jazz hits of its time and put them onto a single disc. This is kind of like that in a much larger and ambitious scope. Even at five discs, it still feels like a sampler! While I enjoyed this set immensely, I still have the feeling that something is missing.

    Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are well represented here, as they should be. It is a joy to listen to music I wasn't as familiar with such as Coleman Hawkins and many of the earlier cuts. The sound quality is pretty good, especially for recordings of the earlier eras.

    After listening to this, I felt that the history of jazz ended at about 1970, when obviously it did not. Fusion, Latin, Cool, and Avant Garde did not receive enough attention. Probably due to contractual restrictions, some artists only receive either a mention or are missing entirely. Only one track for Art Tatum, Mingus, Weather Report, and Stan Getz, ECM artists missing entirely, no John McLaughlin (as leader), McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans (as leader), or Art Blakey (although he does get his own disc in this series).

    Every jazz afficionado will have their own ideas of what should be on here. This set serves a great purpose in showing how jazz and history affected each other and a glimpse of the talented artists behind the music. This set is a generous sampling of a great and wonderful iceberg and should be used as a springboard for a lifetime of exploration into jazz. At least the likes of Kenny G, Dave Koz, and John Tesh are nowhere to be found on this set.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A very fine introduction to jazz
    The box set is rather like the documentary film: toploaded with dixieland-swing-bop, then a futile effort to cram all the postbop period into too little space. If anyone tried to sum up the history of rock n' roll in 5 CDs, imagine him cramming everything since the Summer of Love onto the last disc. If the Doors and Pink Floyd got left out of such a set, or a label like Atlantic was virtually overlooked, people would be upset then, too. It's not snobby to complain that Bill Evans or a Rahsaan Roland Kirk are left out here, or that Burns practically ignored Blue Note Records in his history. Stakes are high here. It's important that certain figures are not forgotten in the history just because Ken Burns could not find space for them in his canon.

    However, despite the limitations of the project, this box is still a darn good introduction to jazz music. The selections might have been broader if pre-bebop had its own 3-CD set, and postbop had its own 4-CD set; but, this way, someone who is beginning to get into the music might get a better picture of the total continuity running from early New Orleans through some of the postbop movements. When I was starting out, I had to piece things together from odd records found at the library, until I got to college and could take a Jazz History class. If this sort of set had been presented to me at the start, I would have been in heaven.

    If you're just getting interested in jazz, buy the set. Read the notes, take note of the names of sidemen (who may have led great sessions of their own, not represented here), pick up an album guide or two, check out some musicians who aren't in this set, join the conversations on jazz bulletin boards, and, most of all, enjoy the music. Once you jump in, there's no end to the worlds you might discover in jazz.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Too much, too little
    Contrary to what some reviewers have stated, this is not a good place for someone wanting to get into jazz. This is mainly because this set costs too much for that. Also, there's over-whelmingly too much Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Dizzie Gillespie tracks here and little else. You would think that with a 5 disc box set, that Ken Burns could have come up with even little known but great jazz artists to include in this collection aside from adding a few more of the wider known ones as well. I am not a "jazz snob" and I feel it's unfair to some of the newer, more contemporary artists to be ignored as well - the rock equivalent of that would be refusing to acknowledge the talent of Jack White simply because he doesn't play like Clapton or Hendrix.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific value
    The fact that this box set has so much music for the price makes this collection a must-have for beginners or makes for great driving music to keep in your car. Forget about how you felt about the documentary, just look at this collection of great jazz and ask yourself, "How many better anthologies are out there that aren't twice the price?"

    I understand those who feel that there were too many omissions, but face it: jazz has been around for 100 years (or so). Mr. Burns would have required 10 disks, with each disk representing a decade of jazz. Once again, look over the playlist, look at the price, and realize what a value this is.

    2-0 out of 5 stars It smells a little funny here
    There is a lot of great music/artists here, but a lot of great music is missing and a lot of artists are too heavily favored.
    I don't like it when a group of writers try to shape the minds of a unknowing public. I think Kenny should stay away from the ARTS and stick with war and sports. ... Read more


    16. Nipper's Greatest Hits - The 20's
    list price: $9.98
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    Asin: B000002W36
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 13496
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The twenties were great
    The music of the twenties was some of the most exciting music of the century. Jazz was being interpreted and filtered into dance and pop music for the young and middle class. Literally thousands of bands discovered that they could make a living going from town to town playing for people mad about the new dances of the charleston, the foxtrot, the bunny hop. This led to highly skilled musicians who became excellent players as a result of the long hours they spent playing and practicing. These guys and gals worked at their instruments every day for several hours a day (which is very unlike today's stars - many of who can't play any instrument or who rely on tape loops and rhythm tracks). Their livelihood depended on it.
    In 1925 electrical recording took over from the much cruder acoustic recording (where musicians needed to hover around a large horn that was attached to a needle that literally carved the vibrations into wax or another mediium. Audio fidelity took a big leap forward as sound could now be balanced better and a more realistic recording was possible. The result was an explosion in demand for new music. This music was fun, sometimes very complex and innovative, very energetic with its two step and a breakneck pace that could go as fast as 240 beats per minute (this is the speed of modern "club mix" house music!). There were also crooners, male and female, who sang torch songs with pathos and deep sentiment - even when the lyrics were mushy and silly. The USA was delirious with prosperity and possibility. Women were boldly experimenting with new freedoms in dress, manners, and morals. Men were enjoying a prolonged adolescence as large numbers went to college and enjoyed the new lifestyle of the frat boy with raccoon coats, the new invention of the cheap automobile, and an easy to learn instrument called the ukulele (which was brought over from Hawaii by American tourists and which originally came from Portugal).
    This album is a good introduction to this music. I only wish it was three albums and contained a wider survey of the great dance bands and crooners out there. Check out Ben Selvin, Ben Pollack, early Bing Crosby, Paul Whiteman, etc. There is a wealth of music form this period now available in good restored collecitons. this is cheerful, finger-snapping music. Enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS: WE NEED MORE LIKE THIS!!!
    I was so glad when this CD came in the mail today. I love it! To be able to hear the **actual** recordings people were listening to 80 years ago is phenomenal. Sure the sound quality is not the greatest and the recordings abound with surface noise of all sorts. But that only adds to the pleasure of listening to this CD. Its just as if we were listening to the old victrola itself! (Remember, the 78's that we are familiar with hadn't even been perfected yet). Consider further that many of the recordings on this disc were made without the use of any electricity. They are all a lot nicer to listen to than most of the garbage that has come out of the record companies in the last 20-30 years.

    Hats off to RCA for releasing a collection like this. Its so wonderful to hear what popular music was like so many years ago. We need more collections like this! Maybe some with even earlier recordings!?!

    5-0 out of 5 stars vol.1-20's~Porters,et al
    Excellent this music is totally awsome. It makes my blood rush
    (...)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Music
    I truly enjoyed this CD - my grandfather had most of these that he played on his Victrola. I had so many precious memories of he and I sitting on his front porch in the Ozarks and listening to this music. A 5 star rating!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the BEE'S KNEES!
    23 skidoo to the checkout button and shimmy away with this one kiddy! All the flappers are shakin their gams to this one! All you need is a speakeasy and some hooch and you'll be the bee's knees too! The opening track "Let's Misbehave" got me hooked on this CD. "Collegiate" makes a girl bob her hair and a guy grab his Racoon coat. "Charleston" will have you knocking your knees in notime. About half of the tracks are acoustical recordings (imagine that -- no electricity involved whatsoever! It's made by the impact of their voices on the record ALONE!) and the other half are "electrical" made after about 1925. I bought this when it hit the market several years ago and it remains one of my favorites. ... Read more


    17. The Best of Pete Fountain
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B000003N4N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8079
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Though clarinetist Pete Fountain has long been a fixture on the New Orleans jazz scene, his greatest notoriety came from his 1957-1959 nationally televised appearances with the Lawrence Welk orchestra leading a small group playing traditional jazz. Fountain, a Benny Goodman disciple who plays the old standards with indefatigable fervor, is a fixture on Mardi Gras day in New Orleans, leading the early morning parade down St. Charles Avenue with his "Half Fast" marching club. As Fountain walks, he plays the numbers on this record that comprise his standard repertoire--"While We Danced at the Mardi Gras," "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," "Basin Street Blues," "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "When the Saints Come Marching in March" and "St. Louis Blues." --John Swenson ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hey! It's Pete,
    I had the lp for so long until my [$$$] stylus went kaput but I love the vinyl version over the cd. This cd has some great ambience, a nice drum solo(I just love his back-up on this disk) and the disk was produced well. The price is incredible and you can't miss with this high-class, marching-band ensemble. I don't like medleys which is why I gave this 4 instead of 5 stars.This is a great Sunday morning- brunch time listen.You can crank this up too. Buy this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars King of the clarinet!
    You won't go wrong buying this CD! Pete's at his very best mixing jazz and dixieland in his unique style. This music will have you snapping your fingers, tapping your toes, and strutin' to the tunes. My favorite CD of Pete's.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Pete Fountain
    I have several CDs performed by Pete Fountain, three of these autographed, but this album is my favorite. It's really the best. "Fascination Medley", "Stranger on the Shore" and "Over the Waves" are fantastic performances. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find Pete's CDs in Brasil. I had never found them here. I think a few people know him here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like your in New Orleans
    This takes me back to my childhood when I was allowed to stay up and listen to Pete Fountain on the Tonight Show. I recommend this to anyone who loves jazz, dixieland or just great backround music for a Mardi Gras party. Also, I think this would great for music teachers to use in the classroom to encourage kids to broaden there listening spectrum!

    4-0 out of 5 stars THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL!
    The only problem I have with Fountain and "the late and great" Al Hirt is they never made actual New Orleans jazz albums. And by that I mean they never played with the usual setup (A piano, trumpet\cornet, Trombone, Banjo\Guitar, Clarinet and so on) at least the albums I have by them. I still enjoy Fountain's albums though and think he is one of the best. My favorite tracks are "High Society",which is a very old New Orleans song played back in the day of Morton and maybe even before. This song has the traditional setup that I'm talking about. Pete's solo is nothing short of terrific. Then there's " Bye Bye Bill Bailey" which also is played with the traditional backup. For something differnt there's "China boy" the velocity the group plays at might not be or ever be matched. It really is "The Best of Pete Fountain"! ... Read more


    18. Branch to Branch
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002IB7
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9573
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars great old time music by a real martian
    Leon Redbone is a true martian in the world of music.I even don't know about his age,although I listen to him for some 20 years.Every record by Leon is a gem,almost his early recordings in which he plays a lot of guitar; and when Leon plays guitar, he's truly amazing, somewhere between Blind Blake and Joseph Spence.There are great tunes in this record,a beautiful lullaby ("prairie lullaby"),tributes to Jelly Roll Morton ("Te-na-na" and the marvelous "why",to tunes recorded by Jelly Roll in his 1940 session,thelast he ever made),a tribute to Blind Blake too ("step it up and go"); let's say that Leon may be the guy that was the closer ever to Blind Blake;he can play outstanding things like Blind Blake did.Redbone's smoky voice is amazing in every tune.There is also a marvelous "extra blues",and a salute to the great Ukulele Ike,"when you wish upon a star".Backing Leon, you can listen to Dr John,Grady Tate,Bob Cranshaw and Ed Polcer.A great trip back to the pre-war years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of a kind!
    Leon is fabulous! Great musicians too. Jack Maheu makes it for me.

    Check out the Salt City Six and Dukes of Dixieland if you don't believe me!

    This, comming from a tuba player!

    However, the recording engineer has no clue whatsoever! A VERY poor recording for contemporary standards. I would bet that even the master tape couldn't be cleaned up. Very shoddy work here! I could do beter with a dixie cup and a string to a scully lathe burning hot direct to platten.

    If you are an audiophile, run away! If you have an unconditional love for jazz, go for it!

    This could/should have been recorded better!

    Greg Kalkhoff (gkalkhof@execpc.com)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great.
    Splendid work of listening pleasure

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this CD! I have it and it is my favorite.
    I would like to ask where I can get the words to Prairie Lullaby so I can sing with Leon Redbone when I am rocking my grandchildren to sleep. ... Read more


    19. The Great Summit: The Master Takes
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005614N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10482
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    For starters, The Great Summit produced not only itself, both with this Master Takes set and the two-CD Complete Sessions, but also a later summit, Count Basie and Ellington's tandem showdown, First Time. On its own, though, The Great Summit needs no later chapters to justify its celebrated standing in jazz annals. This was and is terrifically important music: Ellington is in grand form between recording the Paris Blues soundtrack and cutting ace sessions like Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins and Duke Ellington and John Coltrane in late 1962. For his part, Armstrong was on leave as well, resting up between ceaseless tours as a bona fide jazz superstar and veteran. So Ellington and Armstrong join hands, backed by the latter's band (Trummy Young on trombone, Barney Bigard on clarinet, Mort Herbert on bass, and Danny Barcelona on drums), tackling 17 of Duke's tunes. Armstrong's sweet, rolling vocal growl gives the tunes endless hugs, just as his band both cuts plump solos and then backs way off so Ellington can throw down alternately swinging and unapologetically modernist solos himself.--Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Monumental
    It is difficult to understate the importance of the meeting of these two seminal figures in the history of Amercan music. It is as if Picasso and Rembrandt collaborated on a painting. The result is as good as you might expect, with Armstrong and his all-stars coming up with original and compelling arrangements of some of the Duke's great masterpieces, the Duke contributing mightily from the keyboard, and Louis in as fine a voice as he has ever been heard. Fine sound quality too. Even if you are not a jazz afficianado, this is one CD worth owning as a historical document.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this CD owned by everyone in all the world?
    Oh, my gosh. Some dude nicknamed Duke plays piano on 17 of his own compositions. Featured is a trumpeter and singer nicknamed Satchmo, who brought along five of his band members. They recorded on two consecutive days in NYC in April, l961. They were geezers, and the record buyers were paying more attention to Miles and Coltrane and Brubeck at the time, although both old guys were still touring and pleasing audiences. Then Bob Thiele, a producer of all kinds of music, including Buddy Holly, but mainly a jazz expert, got Louis Armstrong and Mr. Ellington together at last. He couldn't get the whole Ellington Orchestra, so he compromised and got the Armstrong All-Stars as backup. The result is this total 67-minute masterpiece (and now a two-disc version as well, adding the rehearsal takes.) If you claim to love American music, buy one of these darn sets as quickly as you can. The sound is superb, the performances divine. If you don't love this, e-mail me and I'll buy your copy at a discount. But check for a heartbeat, because you may be dead and not realize it. This is the jazz pioneers' version of "Kind of Blue" in my opinion. The CD deserves much wider notice than it gets. Originally released on the small Roulette label, the album seems to have been overlooked even by Duke and Satchmo fans, which amazes me. If there are nearly 400 reviews of "Kind of Blue" posted on Amazon at this point, surely there should be 100 fans commenting on "The Great Summit."

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets
    This is my favorite jazz CD, even better than Davis's "Kind of Blue," Armstrong's "Great Chicago Concert," Artie Shaw's "Highlights from Self Portrait," Sintra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers," Ella (singing almost anything), and "The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong." Armstrong's All-Stars with Duke sitting in on piano, playing all Ellington. Great compositions with great improvisations.

    Just listen to the five samples Amazon.com provides. "Cottontail" opens with consecutive solos by Ellington, the great Barney Bigard, Armstrong, and trombonist Trummy Young, then later features a great scat "verse" by Armstrong. Almost every one of the cuts is as strong.

    This was the CD that brought clarinetist Barney Bigard to my attention. He played for years with Ellington's band, then with Armstrong's All-Stars, and I later read in Gary Giddins's "Satchmo" that Armstrong considered him the best jazz clarinetist he ever worked with. Listen to his solos on "Cottontail" (one is in the Amazon.com sample) and "Beautiful American", as well as his sparkling repartee with Armstrong on "In a Mellow Tone."

    Buy it and enjoy -- over and over.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure pleasure
    Wow! Was this recorded yesterday? It sounds just like that. Now, this is what I call listening to the Duke playing in your own living room. This has all the felling of an after hours jam session, five musicians, relaxing, and enjoying every note they play. When you have the greatest improviser of jazz performing with the greatest composer in jazz, well, you know its a sure bet. I only wish I had known of this album before. Very underrated by the way, since you wont find it in anyone's top list of best jazz albums ever, but it is more than just a casual encounter, these guys knew this meeting was a once in a lifetime shot. Thank you Blue Note!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greats!
    Sometimes a set of music is a no brainer. Duke Ellington's piano backing Up Louis Armstrong through 17 of Duke's greatest hits should be all one would need to say. The music here is simply timeless. Backed by Danny Barcelona on drums, Matt Herbert on bass, and the overlooked Barney Bigard on clarinet Pops and the Duke swing hard from top to bottom. It is hard to hear "In A Mellow Tone", "Dukes Place", or "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" without cracking a smile and tapping your foot. This is a classic recording that should appeal to fans of music outside of jazz and goes without saying that it should be in all jazz collections! ... Read more


    20. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (Score)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00069YEIY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 7021
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    Amazon.com

    The legendary Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion, is the subject of Ken Burns's 2005 PBS documentary, and Wynton Marsalis (a major figure in the filmmaker's 2000 miniseries, Ken Burns's Jazz) turns in a brilliant original score that captures the courage, chaos, and controversy of Johnson's racially charged feats and exploits. Compositions by Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy augment the leader's quasi-Ellingtonian ragtime, blues, dirges, ballads, and stride selections. Also included are four previously released tracks, two from Mr. Jelly Lord and two from Reeltime, the Marsalis score made for (but ultimately not used in) the movie Rosewood. Of course, Marsalis is on his best trumpet behavior, and he shows a real and unacknowledged talent for writing in this idiom. --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more


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