The Original Hot Five Recordings of Louis Armstrong

Between 1925 and 1928 the Hot Five--the incomparable Louis Armstrong and four seasoned practitioners of the burgeoning jazz style--recorded thirty-three performances in Chicago for the OKeh label. Oddly, the quintet immortalised on vinyl recordings rarely performed as a unit in local nightspots. And yet, like other music now regarded as especially historic, their work in the studio summarised 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 household name and ultimately an adored public figure. They showcased Armstrong's genius, notably his leadership in transforming the practice of jazz as 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 contextualises the music by offering a reliable timeline of Armstrong's professional activities during these years. All thirty-three pieces, moreover, are described in informed detail. A CD with twenty of the original recordings is included.