2 LPS on 1 CD
The complete classic album Louis and The Good Book, which presents Satchmo playing and singing timeless spirituals and traditional songs with arrangemet by Sy Oliver.
The bonus album, Louis and the Angels, was also arranged by Oliver. It has Armstrong performing angel-related tunes. As an extra bonus, the rare unedited version of Louis’ superb 1957 instrumental duet with Billy Kyle on “Dear Old Southland”, based on an old spiritual.
Includes 16-page booklet
The two albums included here were among the “pop intended” productions Decca put into the market in the mid-fifties, in an attempt to sell Louis Armstrong to a wider audience. In fact, in addition to being a seminal jazz figure both as a trumpeter and as a vocalist, Louis had always been a true pop artist. In any case, despite being less jazz-oriented than the aforementioned items, Louis and the Good Book and Louis and the Angels (especially the former) also contain their gems. These were not Armstrong’s first recordings of spiritual tunes. He had done some renderings of these songs in the thirties, and he probably knew all of them since childhood as part of his cultural heritage. His approach to this music is at the same time irreverent, profound and deeply moving, in the way only great artists can achieve. He is always far away from being pompous and his rendering of spirituals is certainly more “spiritual” in a wider sense than merely religious. In any case, he surely loved most of this material, and Sy Oliver’s arrangements still work providing Louis a fine background for his inimitable performances.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG, trumpet & vocals
Orchestra conducted by SY OLIVER
1-12: LOUIS AND THE GOOD BOOK
(1, 7, 10 & 12) Trummy Young (tb), Dave McRae (cl), Billy Kyle (p), Nick Tragg (org), George Barnes (g), Mort Herbert (b), Barrett Deems (d), plus choir. New York, February 4, 1958.
(2, 4, 6 & 11) Same as above but Edmond Hall (cl) replaces McRae, and Everett Barksdale (g) replaces Barnes. New York, February 6, 1958.
(3, 5 & 8-9) Same as above but Hank D’Amico (cl) replaces Hall. New York, February 7, 1958.
13-24: LOUIS AND THE ANGELS
(13-16, 18 & 20) George Dorsey, Phil Durso (fl, as), Lucky Thompson (ts), Dave McRae (bar), Billy Kyle (p), Everett Barksdale (g), Joe Benjamin (b), Rudy Taylor (d), unknown female harpist, 6 vlns and mixed choir (3 male & 4 female singers). New York, January 29, 1957.
(17, 19 & 21-24) Same as above but George Barnes (g) replaces Barksdale, and Sid Block (b) replaces Benjamin. New York, January 30, 1957.
(25) Louis Armstrong (tp), Billy Kyle (p) [instrumental duet]. New York, January 28, 1957.
01 NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN 3:02
02 SHADRACK 2:46
03 GO DOWN, MOSES 3:41
04 ROCK MY SOUL (In the Bosom of Abraham) 2:58
05 EZEKIEL SAW THE WHEEL 2:33
06 ON MY WAY (Got on My Travelin’ Shoes) 3:05
07 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 3:10
08 SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT 3:09
09 SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD 3:29
10 JONAH AND THE WHALE 2:39
11 DIDN’T IT RAIN 2:52
12 THIS TRAIN 2:25
13 WHEN DID YOU LEAVE HEAVEN? 3:42
14 YOU’RE A HEAVENLY THING 3:17
15 I MARRIED AN ANGEL 3:40
16 A SINNER KISSED AN ANGEL 2:42
17 ANGELA MIA 3:22
18 ANGEL CHILD 3:23
19 AND THE ANGELS SING 2:54
20 FOOLS RUSH IN 3:32
21 I’LL STRING ALONG WITH YOU 3:05
22 ANGEL 3:40
23 THE PRISONER’S SONG 3:12
24 GOOD NIGHT, ANGEL 2:54
25 DEAR OLD SOUTHLAND 4:09
TOTAL TIME: 79:34
All arrangements by SY OLIVER except 11 (Milt Gabler)