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The Two Louis: "Pops" and "The Wildest"

New Orleans' two great Louis, Armstrong and Prima, were formed by their hometown and its culture; though both left the city, it never left them or their music. They were both artists and entertainers, gifted musicians, and unabashed crowd-pleasers.

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Music

Dr. John: Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch

Not all the guest artists fit, and sometimes the connection to Satchmo seems tenuous indeed. But when it works, as it mostly does, the album delivers much pleasure and pleasant surprises.

Music

Kermit Ruffins: We Partyin' Traditional Style! (take 2)

After two decades, the New Orleans trumpeter finally figures out how to bring his live energy into a studio setting. The result is one of the best jazz releases of the year to date.

Film

What James Bond Can’t Teach You About British Music History

If you want lessons in womanizing, dressing to the nines, or ordering martinis, James Bond is your man. If, however, you’re looking for a review of British music history over the last 50 years, the world’s favorite secret agent has no idea what he’s doing.

Music

Ten Great Musical Gifts for the Holidays

This year saw the release of many truly stellar box sets and re-issues from the Holy Grail of Western pop music (the earliest Louis Armstrong recordings and the Beatles remasters on vinyl) to indie heroes like Sugar and folk pioneer Woody Guthrie. Here's ten of our faves.

Film

Que Pasa, New York?

How do artists get their work done in other cities of the world? Where is it viable to live? It's probably silly to begin our investigation in New York. Just 30 years ago, New York was still opening its arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses of creatives. But now?

Music

Louis Armstrong: Hello, Louis! The Hit Years (1963-1969)

Nobody can explain why “Hello Dolly” hit #1 in 1964. But then, nobody can explain why Louis Armstrong didn't hit #1 all the time.

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Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong - Terry Teachout – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt [$30.00]

Books

Follow Your Heart: Moving with the Giants of Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues by Joe Evans

It's fun discovering that Jackie Wilson used to be a prizefighter or imagining band members waking up a drugged-out Charlie Parker right before his solo.

Reviews

Louis Armstrong: Live in 59 [DVD]

Armstrong’s smiling countenance is the perfect foil for his remarkable technical skills; his interaction with both audience and band is wonderfully disarming, making the music even more accessible.

Music

Louis Armstrong: Jazz Moods: Hot

A selection of 14 tracks from The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings, which is to say a thin slice of one of the sweetest cakes that was ever baked.

Will Layman

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