The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3069: “A Satchel Full of Satch” - Louis Armstrong

Personnel: Louis Armstrong [tp], Jack Teagarden, Trummy Young [tb], Barney Bigard, Edmond Hall [cl], Bud Freeman [tsx], Fats Waller, Earl Hines, Billy Kyle [pn], Red Callendar, Arvell Shaw [sbs], Al Casey [gu], Slick Jones, Sidney Catlett, Barrett Deems [dm], Velma Middleton [vo]

Songs: Tiger Rag, Jeepers Creepers, I Got Rhythm, The Blues, Honeysuckle Rose, On the Sunny Side of the Street [2 versions], I Cried for You, Ain’t Misbehavin’, When It’s Sleepy Time Down South [2 versions], Boogie on St. Louis Blues, That’s My Desire, Steakface, Indiana, Someday, Dardanella, Ole Miss, A Kiss to Build A Dream On

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3069: “A Satchel Full of Satch” - Louis Armstrong

JazzReview.com - Internet Magazine

When Big Bill Bissonnette assembles a compilation CD, you get your money's worth. Here is one hour and thirteen minutes of scarce Louis Armstrong material covering 3 decades. The first session is from a WNEW broadcast of October 19,1938. This is a classic band featuring Jack Teagarden, Bud Freeman and Fats Waller. The drummer seems to be a bit of a mystery and some fans say it's Zutty Singleton while others vote for George Wettling. Bissonnette says it's Slick Jones. I won't argue with Bill on this point. It certainly doesn't sound like Zutty or George. Wettling would have been doubtful anyway as he was still very busy with Artie Shaw through December of 1938. The fact is that this is great music any way you look at it. Both Armstrong and Waller are fabulous and I'm the first to say that neither Bud Freeman nor Jack Teagarden ever played a bad date. Just kidding! No letters please.
The second session is from a festival in Nice, France and was recorded on February 22, 1948. This is basically the same band that appeared on the unforgettable Town Hall and Symphony Hall concerts. However, you would never know it. In my opinion, the musicians are totally uninspired. Add the fact that the acetate masters have deteriorated badly over the years; you have, at best, a rare performance. Even the flashy drumming of big Sid Catlett and Satchmo's genius couldn't save it. Better things are in store for the listener.
The last session features Satchmo's band from Basin Street East in 1956. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this band and saw them on a Canadian tour. Ed Hall performs his classic version of the 1919 hit, Dardanella. If Hall's rendition of the tune doesn't turn your crank, check for a pulse. The entire set at Basin Street East is wonderful and Armstrong's Someday You'll Be Sorry is a winner. Here is some worthwhile output from one of the worlds finest jazz performers.
- Richard Bourcier


AllMusicGuide.com - World Wide Web

Big Bill Bissonnette's Jazz Crusade label has struck it rich again with this release of rare Louis Armstrong performances, some of them released for the first time commercially in the U.S. The album is made up of performances from three different sessions. The first in 1938 is a WNEW radio broadcast in New York City. Among others in the group is Jack Teagarden, who provides a preview of coming events when he joined the Louis Armstrong All Stars ten years later. The second is from the Nice Jazz Festival in 1948. Regrettably, the quality of the sound is not up to the same standard as the other two, but is still acceptable. Finally there is a session from Basin Street East in 1956 with perhaps his most talented incarnation of the All Stars. He lets Edmond Hall take the lead on "Dardanella" with a clarinet that was as disciplined as Benny Goodman's, but much more earthy. One of the highlights of the album is Earl Hines doing his famous "Boogie on St. Louis Blues" with Armstrong inserting the well-known cry, "Father Hines." The 1938 session brings Armstrong and Fats Waller together. They vocalize and instrumentalize together on a couple of tunes, hitting off with a humorous "The Blues," where Teagarden gets a few measures in. There is both well-known and less-familiar material on this CD. Armstrong and Velma Middleton do their slightly blue version of "That's My Desire." One hears Armstrong sing the complete version of "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," instead of just humming a few bars as he generally did. And all through this the trumpet is in high-gear. The singing, the trumpet, the playing partners, and the infectious, happy personality of Armstrong make the material on this album a major find. Highly recommended. -
- Dave Nathan


Kings Jazz Review - England

"He was jazz. He is jazz. He always will be jazz." That's the opening to the Big Bill Bissonnette liner notes of "A Satchel Full Of Satch" and few will come to disagree with those sentiments when they come to own this album.
"He made it possible for us to have any income today" Chris Barber on 11th February 2002 on his 1928 Diary on Radio 2, England, UK, when he mentioned with praise, Louis Armstrong and Weather Bird a tune recorded by Satchmo and Earl "Fatha" Hines in duo that same year. "Auld Lang Syne" the world sings this song, but what portion of it would know that its composer is Scotland's bard, Robert Burns? Louis Armstrong - yes Big Bill, but what portion having heard of him would know, or could name, all the songs that he made famous? Mama don't allow me a favourite picking, except to say that jazzmen the world over will have a great debt of appreciation that they owe to Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong.
As it happened, I first listened to these three historic sessions without referring to the title tracks on the CD, and noted that I was lost on two out of the nineteen of them The Blues, not of the early days, but of a style that is practiced even to this day, and, Boogie On St Louis Blues, which Earl Hines had recorded eight years prior to this 1948, Nice, France, Jazz Festival (7-13) session. This album will, in particular, from the American jazz aficionados, in a small way, lend itself for them to be able to interpret with renewed thought, the development of Louis, not only as a great trumpet player, but also as a timely, novel entertainer.
From someone like me on this side of the pond (ocean), with a continuous interest in the music of Satchmo, I see in a man whose empowered, intense, concentration, in order to obtain utter perfection in the application of his achievements. On Tiger Rag, Louis is on long sustained notes played in the stratosphere of his instrument. Jeepers Creepers is beautiful with it being all about what the weatherman says. Fats stimulates Louis in goads on I Got Rhythm. Louis gives tribute to Fats in effect by including Ain't Misbehavin' on the second session. Two takes on the then popular On The Sunny Side of the Street. Two takes on When It's Sleepy Time Down South - Dear Old Southland. It is swing, swing, swing, on Someday down to the Deems, Kyle and Shaw rhythm - a chance to renew your jitterbugging skills. Dardanella is for clarinettists, Edmond Hall style.
With quotes, riffs, talented accompanists in an in part eighteen years span on the life of Louis Armstrong, it ends on Ol' Miss and A Kiss to Build A Dream On. Thanks to Big Bill Bissonnette and Jazz Crusade Records for this dream album.
- Ian King


Boxell's Jazz Website

To most people who aren't traditional jazz aficionados, Louis Armstrong is traditional jazz. If you go into most of the smaller conventional CD stores you will find that the traditional jazz section, if they have one, consists mainly of Satchmo compendium albums. The problem with almost all of these CDs are that they cover the whole period of Armstrong's long career and therefore you get not only all the tunes normally associated with him, but a variety of Armstrong styles and band types. The big thing with this CD offered by Jazz Crusade is that it consists of three live recordings. The first, with a classic line-up including Jack Teagarden, Bud Freeman and Fats Waller, is a radio broadcast from 1938. The second session is from the Nice Jazz festival in 1948. The third, and final session, is a previously unreleased recording made at the New York night-club, Basin Street East in 1956.
So, the rarity and the fact that you get complete sessions with defined line-ups make this a desirable CD to get; but how about the jazz? Well when I played the first track I did wonder; Satchmo's demonstration of his ability to play a long series of sustained high notes grated: very clever, but ... However, from then on the jazz swings and I got to enjoy listening to the master perform.
I have always enjoyed the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, but been less keen on the later material, but I realise now that I will have to reassess my opinion. I was particularly impressed by the 1956 tracks, especially When It's Sleepy Time Down South and Someday.
The live recording capabilities of the day will always ensure that the recordings made won't be perfect. In addition to the occasional balance and off mike problems, on the 1948 version of, When It's Sleepy Time Down South, the mike for the vocal cuts out altogether! There is also a lot of surface noise, again particularly noticeable on the 1948 tracks. It takes many hours of patience to clean up old recordings, I know as I have just spent many, many, hours removing noise and scratches from those jazz recordings I own that haven't been commercially re-issued on CD so I am having to burn my own. Cleaning up is not always easy, but it can be done, and given the historic value of these recordings, I think they deserved a good 'filter' before being issued.
- Geoff Boxell


Brian Harvey’s Radio Program—Internet

Only very rarely these days does a newly discovered recording by Louis Armstrong come to light - and usually when they do the recording is bad or the band is poor. Pin back your ears because this one is neither -it's brilliant and important for that. Louis and an early version of the All Stars with Jack Teagarden, Bud Freeman, Fats Waller, Al Casey, Red Callendar and Slick Jones are heard in a fine series of tracks first heard in a 1938 broadcast from WNEW New York and on them Louis is in magnificent form. You can hear him playing totally new stuff in the track we've chosen Sunny Side of the Street and there's other equally good stuff
on this CD. There are other personnels here too from other dates and venues and all are pretty good. It's that 1938 New York session that's great though - you hear Louis -in the days of his big band - stretching out and letting go. It's magic.
- Brian Harvey


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