Complete Columbia & RCA Victor Studio 1946-66
Mosaic Box Sets
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Throughout his remarkable and influential career, Louis Armstrong recorded in a variety of styles for a number of labels. In April, some of his most significant sides for both RCA Victor and Columbia are coming to CD in a new box set from the fine folks at Mosaic Records. The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia and RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-1966 is a sprawling and comprehensive 7-CD collection with all 29 of Satchmo’s 1946-47 RCA sides plus his ’50s Columbia LPs with producer George Avakian (Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy, Satch Plays Fats); Dave and Iola Brubeck’s starry concept album The Real Ambassadors; and subsequent cuts overseen by Teo Macero and Bob Johnston. This set promises to be an ideal complement to the (now sadly out-of-print) 2014 box Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and The All-Stars.
The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia and RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-1966 is packaged with Mosaic’s usual attention to detail. The booklet includes a 30,000-word essay by Armstrong historian Ricky Riccardi (author of What a Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong’s Later Years and Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong) as well as over 40 photos (many never before published) from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. Sound quality promises to be exceptional, too. Mosaic indicates that “via Sony’s archives we were able to get the original RCA Victor metal parts and test pressings of the pre-tape material and for the Columbia sessions we had access to all of the reel-to-reel tapes which were lovingly transferred by Matt Cavaluzzo of Battery Studios. For the Columbia LPs, we kept the order in which they appeared on the original LPs and as for the alternate takes we had our restoration engineer Andreas Meyer restore previous edits and splices.