Perhaps the most overlooked and least discussed period of Louis Armstrong’s renowned and well-documented life in the recording studio, was the time of transition during which he ended his stay in Chicago with King Oliver and subsequently spent fourteen months in New York, working in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. This interval, from late September 1924 until early November 1925, marked a period of growth for Armstrong, in which he gained self-confidence, and shed the last vestiges of his childhood attachment to Oliver, his surrogate father and chief musical mentor, and to whom he served as 2nd cornetist. Armstrong also heeded the stern advice of his new wife, Lilian Hardin Armstrong, who insisted that he be second to no one.
This collection focuses on the most obscure of those recordings from this brief interval during Louis Armstrong’s career, when he recorded approximately 27 masters, including alternate takes, for the Paramount label. Recorded between December 1923 and October 1925, these rare gems are presented here as a group for the first time, and more significantly, in superior transfers and restorations.
This is a CD version of the vinyl LP that we released last year. In this release we have added all the alternate takes from Armstrong’s Paramount recordings. These are very rare recordings but with Doug Benson’s expertise in audio restoration and mastering the music really comes alive like never before..
— Paige VanVorst