REVIEW POTPOURRI – Musician: Louis Armstrong; Composer: Berlioz

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Louis Armstrong

Early Satch
Philips 429739BE, 45 ep, extended play, Holland release. Originally 78s from 1927-1928.

Louis Armstrong

Four sides from the group known as the Louis Armstrong Hot Five are contained in this mid-’50s Dutch Philips reissue. All were recorded in Chicago; two done in May,1927 with the others in December, 1928. Several highest quality instrumentalists joined Satchmo and his second wife, pianist and singer Lil Armstrong (they duet back and forth in the classic That’s When I’ll Come Back to You).

Fatha Hines does piano turns in Chicago Breakdown and Basin Street Blues. Kid Ory’s trombone, Johnnie St. Cyr’s banjo, Don Redman’s alto sax and Baby Dodds’s and Zutty Singleton’s drums blend their unique sounds, adding to the cornet and trumpet notes that leader Armstrong mastered so thoroughly and beautifully. And the 4th track, Tight like This, is in a class of its own.


Harold in Italy
Violist Guenther Breitenbach with Rudolf Moralt conducting the Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Vox Pantheon 6700, mono LP, recorded 1950.

Hector Berlioz

Composer Hector Berlioz wrote this Symphony with viola obbligato for his friend, violin virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini. The violinist then rejected the music because it wasn’t flashy enough for him and his constant need to show off his technique. However the work has become a huge favorite since its 1834 premiere.

This oldish, antique performance and recording is very good for its time and one eloquent listening experience in its individual musicality. I bought it in 2002 for $2 at the now gone annex of the NYC Tower records at Fourth and Broadway and played it several times since then. The late Harold C. Schon­berg’s annotations are astute and engaging.


Tom Selleck

I have watched the first three episodes of this show’s 8th season on Netflix, where I enjoyed the previous seven seasons immensely. Tom Selleck, as the New York City police commissioner Frank Reagan, heads a superb cast of regulars who keep the story lines moving along.





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