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Between 1925 and 1928, the Hot Five, the incomparable Louis Armstrong and four seasoned practitioners of the burgeoning jazz style recorded fifty-five performances in Chicago for the OKeh label. Oddly enough, the quintet immortalized on vinyl with recent technology rarely performed as a unit in local nightspots. And yet, like other music now regarded as especially historic, their work in the studio summarized approaches of the past and set standards for the future.
Remarkable both for popularity among the members of the public and for influence on contemporary musicians, these recordings helped make "Satchmo" a familiar household name and ultimately its bearer an adored public figure. They showcased Armstrong's genius, notably his leadership in transforming the practice of jazz as an ensemble improvisation into jazz as the art of the improvising soloist.
In his study, Professor Anderson - for the first time - provides a detailed account of the origins of this pioneering enterprise, relates individual pieces to existing copyright deposits, and contextualizes the music by offering a reliable timeline of Armstrong's professional activities during these years. All fifty-five pieces, moreover, are described in informed commentary.
Satchmo, jazz soloist, Hot Five, 1925-1928
School of Arts and Sciences
Anderson, Gene H. The Original Hot Five Recordings of Louis Armstrong, Edited by Michael J. Budds. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2007.