There has never been (nor will there ever be again) a musician so beloved all over the world as Louis Armstrong. Artistically, he was not only the single most influential fount and inspiration for every pop-music instrumentalist and singer of his time and thereafter, but he was quite easily the greatest entertainer ever to step on the stage, musical or theatrical. And where Louis was concerned, there was no separation; he was as theatrical as he was musical. This album documents just one of his countless concert appearances. It is unique and typical at the same time, for the evening began with a review of '50 years of Jazz' (which also paralled Armstrong’s life, for he and jazz were both born at the turn of the century – Louis in 1901, as a baptismal certificate discovered after his death has established, not 1900, as he had always believed), followed by a standard-issue Armstrong All Stars program. Although his choice of selections would change slightly from one night to another, and then more so from one year to the next, certain elements remained constant. No matter how often a composition was repeated (he opened every show “Sleepy Time Down South”, almost invariably followed by “Indiana”), Louis Armstrong gave his all every performance – no matter how many or few in the audience, and no matter if the decades of nearly non-stop touring had left him exausted on a particular night.
Louis Armstrong: The Great Chicago Concert 1956
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